Michigan Gov. Decries Trump Rally as ‘Very Distressing,’ OKs Biden Rally

Michigan Gov. Decries Trump Rally as ‘Very Distressing,’ OKs Biden Rally
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a news conference in Lansing, Mich., on May 18, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)
Bill Pan

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday said she is worried that President Donald Trump’s campaign event in her state would pose a threat to public health, but expressed no such concerns about a similar event planned for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Whitmer speculated with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Trump might be “encouraging people to come maskless” to the rally, which is scheduled on Thursday evening at an airport hangar near MBS International Airport in Freeland.

“It’s distressing, to say the least,” said the Democratic governor. “We have been following the science here in Michigan. We have a mask mandate. We’ve got gathering rules to ensure we don’t have super-spreader events.”

In Michigan, indoor gatherings are being capped at 10 people and face coverings are required in both indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces.

Despite the restrictive measures she has imposed, Whitmer still questioned the president’s willingness to enforce face covering or social distancing rules among his supporters, suggesting that would jeopardize the state’s progress in curbing the spread of the CCP virus.

“We’ve pushed our curve down, we’ve saved thousands of lives, we’ve gotten people back to work,” Whitmer said. “And events like this threaten all that sacrifice that we’ve made. I would love to see the leader of our country embrace masks and encourage people to do the right thing.”

When talking about Joe Biden’s Wednesday campaign event, however, Whitmer spoke in confidence about Biden’s ability to hold a safe event.

“I know that they are scrupulously following the science,” said Whitmer, who serves as one of Biden’s national campaign chairs. “They want to keep their supporters and the general public safe.”

“Whether you’re going to one event on Wednesday or the other on Thursday, I’m gonna do everything I can to keep the people of this state safe,” she added. “Whether they’re supportive of all of the measures we’ve taken or not.”

Biden on Wednesday afternoon visited Michigan and delivered remarks in Warren, about 20 miles north of downtown Detroit.

Sarah Hasse, a Trump campaign spokesperson, called Whitmer a hypocrite in a statement released to The Hill.

“It’s clear the Governor’s double standard on President Trump and Joe Biden traveling to Michigan has nothing to do with coronavirus and everything to do with partisanship,” Hasse said. “She’s giving Biden cover to actually get on the campaign trail while attacking the President for doing the exact same thing.”