Trump attacks governor who called on him to 'step up' coronavirus response

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Trump lashed out at Gretchen Whitmer after she went on MSNBC and said the administration didn't 'take this seriously early enough.'

Donald Trump on Tuesday lashed out at yet another Democratic governor who had criticized the federal government's response to the novel coronavirus, calling Michigan's Gov. Gretchen Whitmer "failing."

"Failing Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive," Trump tweeted. "We are pushing her to get the job done. I stand with Michigan!"

Initially, it seemed like Trump's comment was out of the blue.

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However, his tweet came just minutes after Whitmer went on MSNBC to talk about the measures she was taking to stop the spread of the virus and criticizing the initial slow response of the federal government.

Whitmer appeared on MSNBC starting at 9:10 a.m., and Trump fired off his tweet at 9:27 a.m.

"At the end of the day, we have to make decisions based on the best science, best facts and what's in the best interest of the public health, and places of mass congregation are where this virus continues to spread," Whitmer said on MSNBC, explaining her decision to close schools and shut down bars and restaurants.

"In order to flatten the curve, we need to be aggressive on the front end. The federal government did not take this seriously early enough and now it is on us to make sure we're doing everything we can based on the best facts and science available and that we are always putting the health of our people front and center," Whitmer added.

Trump's tweet appears to be politicizing the coronavirus pandemic, telling Michiganders that he is taking care of them better than their Democratic governor — even though Trump condemned those who politicized the outbreak.

Trump carried Michigan by just 0.3% in 2016 and is trying to keep the state in his corner in his 2020 reelection bid.

Whitmer responded to Trump's attack with a thread laying out a timeline of what she's done for her state.

"Now that I’ve got your attention, Mr. President — attack tweets won’t solve this crisis. But swift and clear guidance, tests, personal protective equipment, and resources would.  FYI - here’s what I’ve done so far," she tweeted, listing off things such as instituting copay waivers for Medicaid recipients in her state, closing schools, banning gatherings of more than 50 people, and expanding unemployment benefits.

Whitmer is not the first governor Trump has attacked amid the outbreak.

He's been attacking Gov. Andrew Cuomo for two days after the New York Democrat asked Trump to call in the Army Corps of Engineers to increase hospital capacity to ensure all critical cases can be treated.

"Cuomo wants 'all states to be treated the same.' But all states aren’t the same. Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all. New York is a very big 'hotspot', West Virginia has, thus far, zero cases. Andrew, keep politics out of it," Trump tweeted, using racist terminology to describe the new coronavirus.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.