Michigan Governor Slams Swastikas and Nooses at Coronavirus Lockdown Protest

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A protestor with a sign that has Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whittmer depicted as Adolph Hitler is seen at an American Patriot Rally organized by Michigan United for Liberty protest for the reopening of businesses, on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on April 30, 2020
A protestor with a sign that has Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whittmer depicted as Adolph Hitler is seen at an American Patriot Rally on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol, April 30, 2020Credit: Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday said gun-toting protesters who demonstrated inside the state Capitol in opposition to some of her moves to battle the coronavirus “depicted some of the worst racism” and “awful parts” of U.S. history.

Whitmer made the assertion on CNN, before the release of the latest number of deaths in Michigan related to the coronavirus. Officials say the 29 new deaths, which increased the number to 4,049, was one of the lowest daily increases since the pandemic began in Michigan.

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Confirmed cases in Michigan rose by 547, bringing the total to 43,754.

During the CNN appearance, Whitmer said the protests featured “Confederate Flags, and nooses,” as well as swastikas. Members of the Michigan Liberty Militia protested the state’s stay-at-home orders this week, some with weapons and tactical gear and their faces partially covered.

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“Some of the outrageousness of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country,” she said.

Some went to the Senate gallery, where a senator said armed men shouted at her. Whitmer said the protest wasn’t representative of Michigan and that she’s going to listen to facts and science to decide how to handle the pandemic.

“Whether you agree with me or not, I’m working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan,” she said. ”I am going to continue to do my job regardless of what tweets come out or what polls come out or what people think makes sense.”

Michigan’s Republican-controlled Legislature has questioned Whitmer’s authority to extend stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic. But the governor used an executive order to extend a state of emergency declaration and has directed most businesses statewide to remain closed.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday said gun-toting protesters who demonstrated inside the state Capitol in opposition to some of her moves to battle the coronavirus “depicted some of the worst racism” and “awful parts” of U.S. history.

Whitmer made the assertion on CNN, before the release of the latest number of deaths in Michigan related to the coronavirus. Officials say the 29 new deaths, which increased the number to 4,049, was one of the lowest daily increases since the pandemic began in Michigan.

Confirmed cases in Michigan rose by 547, bringing the total to 43,754.

During the CNN appearance, Whitmer said the protests featured “Confederate Flags, and nooses,” as well as swastikas. Members of the Michigan Liberty Militia protested the state’s stay-at-home orders this week, some with weapons and tactical gear and their faces partially covered.

“Some of the outrageousness of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country,” she said.

Some went to the Senate gallery, where a senator said armed men shouted at her. Whitmer said the protest wasn’t representative of Michigan and that she’s going to listen to facts and science to decide how to handle the pandemic.

“Whether you agree with me or not, I’m working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan,” she said. ”I am going to continue to do my job regardless of what tweets come out or what polls come out or what people think makes sense.”

Michigan’s Republican-controlled Legislature has questioned Whitmer’s authority to extend stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic. But the governor used an executive order to extend a state of emergency declaration and has directed most businesses statewide to remain closed.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday night singled out Whitmer and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, also a Democrat, for criticism even as he praised the federal coordination with most governors. He also complained that some Democrats would rather “people get sick” than given him any credit for pushing the use of a malaria drug for treating COVID-19, though it has not been proven to be safe and effective for that use.

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