Trump tweets apparent support for protestors of stay-at-home orders
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by Chris Lefkow
President Donald Trump appeared to lend support on Friday to protestors in several US states who have been demonstrating against stay-at-home orders imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” Trump tweeted. “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”
The Republican president followed those tweets with another saying: “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”
All three states — Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia — have seen demonstrations this week against the lockdowns imposed by their governors in a bid to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus.
All three states also have Democratic governors and Trump’s tweets appeared to be politically motivated.
Trump also lashed out on Friday at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, another Democrat, saying he should “get out there and get the job done.” New York state with more than 10,000 deaths is the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the United States.
Cuomo, who has said previously he does not want to get in a “fight” with the president, shot back: “If he’s sitting home watching TV, maybe he should get up and go to work.”
More than 40 of the 50 US states have imposed stay-at-home orders and about 95 percent of the US population is currently under some form of lockdown in accordance with social distancing guidelines from the federal government.
Trump unveiled plans on Thursday for states to reopen their economies but largely left the decision to the governor of each state.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told reporters on Friday that she hoped Trump’s tweets were “not encouraging more protests.”
“There is a lot of anxiety and I think, you know the most important thing that anyone with a platform can do is try to use that platform to tell people, ‘We are going to get through this,'” Whitmer said.
“We will reengage our economy when it’s safe,” she said.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam shrugged off Trump’s tweets.
“As the governor of the commonwealth of Virginia I, along with my staff, are fighting a biological war,” Northam said. “I do not have time to involve myself in Twitter wars.”
Asked about Trump’s tweets, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said his “first responsibility is the protection of Minnesota’s people.
“I just don’t have time to try to figure out why something like that would happen,” he said. “We’re leading as we were asked. If I thought we could go back to work tomorrow that’s exactly what we would do.” (AFP)