What began as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, criticizing the Trump administration’s response to the global coronavirus pandemic last week has since erupted into a full-scale war of words between the two leaders.
And as any observer of the president knows, a full-scale war of words with the president always, always, always entails a snarky nickname. In this case, the president has chosen the nickname Gretchen “Half” Whitmer.
Look, courtesy a tweet posted by Trump late Friday:
I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen “Half” Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2020
Get it? “Half” Whitmer … as in halfwit?
The president also claimed Whitmer “doesn’t have a clue.”
During a White House coronavirus briefing earlier Friday, the president admitted that he’s urged Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the administration’s coronavirus task force, to not call the governor and speak with her unless she shows appreciation for his assistance.
“I think they should be appreciative,” he said of governors like Whitmer. “Because you know what? When they’re not appreciative to me, they’re not appreciative to the Army Corps, they’re not appreciative to FEMA, it’s not right. These people are incredible. They’re working 24 hours a day. I mean, Mike Pence, I don’t think he sleeps anymore.”
“These are people that should be appreciated. He calls all the governors. I tell him, I mean, I’m a different type of person. I say, ‘Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington. You’re wasting your time with him. Don’t call the woman in Michigan.’ … If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call. He’s a different type of person. He’ll call quietly anyway, okay? But he’s done a great job. He should be appreciated for the job he’s done.”
Listen to his full statement below, and take note of what he said about some governors saying untrue, negative things about his administration’s coronavirus efforts allegedly “for political reasons.”
The president also attacked Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, claiming that “he leveled out at zero in the polls, he’s constantly chirping, and I guess complaining would be a nice way of saying it.”
The president’s concern appears to be that, instead of working sincerely with his administration to resolve the coronavirus crisis as effectively as possible, Democrats have been complaining, politicizing, obstructing and in some cases deflecting blame.
Conversely, Democrats governors such as Whitmer have suggested that the administration isn’t just failing in its duties to assist the states but in some cases even purposefully preventing them from acquiring the supplies they need.
Speaking on Detroit radio station WWJ this Friday, for instance, she insinuated that medical supply vendors are being told by the Trump administration to not conduct business with her state.
“When the federal government told us that we needed to go it ourselves, we started procuring every item we could get our hands on,” she reportedly said. “What I’ve gotten back is that vendors with whom we had contracts are now being told not to send stuff here to Michigan. It’s really concerning.”
“We’ve entered into a number of contracts and as we are getting closer to the date when shipments are supposed to come in, they’re getting canceled or they’re getting delayed,” she reportedly added during an appearance slightly later on CNN. “We’ve been told they’re going first to the federal government.”
The president has for his part claimed governors such as Whitmer and Inslee are simply trying to blame him for their own failings.
“Your governor of Michigan, I mean, she’s not stepping up,” he’d said during an appearance on Fox News a day earlier. “I don’t know if she knows what’s going on, but all she does is sit there and blame the federal government. She doesn’t get it done. And we send her a lot.”
Speaking on Fox News tonight, Trump attacks Michigan Gov. Whitmer on her coronavirus response: “She’s not stepping up. I don’t know if she knows what’s going on.”
Trump adds: “I love the people of Michigan” and “I’m bringing back…many car factories.” pic.twitter.com/yxXpGuxv91
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) March 27, 2020
That same evening, Whitmer took to Twitter to claim that all she wants is some help.
“I’ve asked repeatedly and respectfully for help. We need it. No more political attacks, just PPEs, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits. You said you stand with Michigan — prove it,” she wrote.
Hi, my name is Gretchen Whitmer, and that governor is me 👋
I’ve asked repeatedly and respectfully for help. We need it. No more political attacks, just PPEs, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits. You said you stand with Michigan — prove it. https://t.co/FtWlTLZdqW
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) March 27, 2020
It’s not clear who’s right and who’s wrong, though the argument could be made that all sides have erred in one way or another.
Because of confusing directives from the federal government, “states are being forced into bidding wars to get medical equipment to combat coronavirus,” according to Forbes.
That’s not good.
But neither is it good that Whitmer has reportedly been requiring “pharmacists to police — and potentially second-guess — the health recommendations of doctors” as it pertains to the potential coronavirus cure chloroquine, as reported by Breitbart.
Regarding the current beef between Trump and Whitmer, what’s notable is that, one, complaints about the Trump administration coronavirus handling seem to be coming from only Democrat governors, and two, Whitmer has a history of lying.
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