As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shut down businesses and gatherings across the United States, President Donald Trump is blaming everyone but himself for his administration's slowed response and initial dismissal of the virus's threat.
He continued that pattern today when he shamed the Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her handling of the pandemic in her state.
It all started when Whitmer, in an interview on MSNBC, accused the federal government of not taking the threat seriously enough when there was time to prepare for it, and that the responsibility was now falling primarily on states.
If you are wondering why Trump randomly attacked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, it's because of this.… https://t.co/cxsZpz563A— Emily C. Singer (@Emily C. Singer) 1584452845.0
In a tweet on Tuesday, the President referred to her as a "failed" governor.
Failing Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive. We are pushing her to get the job done. I stand with Michigan!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1584451638.0
The day before Trump posted this tweet, Whitmer signed four executive orders designed to curb the spreading of the virus. One order only allows restaurants to serve takeout orders and closed businesses like fitness centers and coffee shops until at least the end of the month.
The others unemployment benefits, lifted weight restrictions on deliveries of medical supplies, and limited the amount of gatherings for events.
Trump's criticisms that she wasn't proactive enough fell flat, and she soon responded to him with the many steps she's taken to curb the virus in her state.
Now that I’ve got your attention, Mr. President - attack tweets won’t solve this crisis. But swift and clear guidan… https://t.co/ORsOJHtpXs— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@Governor Gretchen Whitmer) 1584454840.0
3/3: Created COVID-19 task forces 3/6: Ensured Medicaid waiver for copays & cost sharing for testing 3/10: Declare… https://t.co/6mmPHBboFH— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@Governor Gretchen Whitmer) 1584454842.0
3/13: Prohibited large gatherings 250+ 3/13: Restricted entry into care facilities & juvenile justice facilities… https://t.co/HjMAwHBgFc— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@Governor Gretchen Whitmer) 1584454843.0
3/16: Lifted road weight restrictions The latest information is available at https://t.co/m2sOFDoo30. For those… https://t.co/9m90SvrHmq— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@Governor Gretchen Whitmer) 1584454843.0
Others quickly came to Governor Whitmer's defense.
Michigan’s response has far outpaced the federal government’s in this crisis. Gov. Whitmer is leading decisively, w… https://t.co/mwgU1k0zyO— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330)) 1584457932.0
Look up leadership in the dictionary and you’ll see a picture of Governor Whitmer. She’s working with me 24 hours a… https://t.co/nWQCq4Qtu9— Rep. Debbie Dingell (@Rep. Debbie Dingell) 1584453544.0
Michigan's @GovWhitmer has been listening to scientists, public health experts & local elected officials, and addre… https://t.co/X1ETpjVeOH— Rashida Tlaib (@Rashida Tlaib) 1584456675.0
As a Michigander, I invite you to hump, bonk, shag, and/or screw yourself. Also, as a Michigander, I know that Gr… https://t.co/cXT9khOjRl— Paula (@Paula) 1584460974.0
Whitmer declared a state of emergency, closed schools, bars and restaurants, is banning gatherings of 50 people and… https://t.co/he2Yep58dG— Malachi Barrett (@Malachi Barrett) 1584452650.0
And others condemned Trump's pettiness at one of the most uncertain times Americans have faced in recent memory, taking it as another example of why he's unfit to be President of the United States.
He is utterly incapable of rising to the moment. https://t.co/DaEKtOypgd— Jeremy FLATTEN THE CURVE Konyndyk (@Jeremy FLATTEN THE CURVE Konyndyk) 1584454119.0
He just completely unsuited to be President, After downplaying the risks for months, he finally acknowledges how s… https://t.co/tTdKU9HSuq— Joe Lockhart (@Joe Lockhart) 1584454610.0
Honestly, you're the worst person to deal with this crisis -- stop attacking people solving the problem and get foc… https://t.co/FHOB65dc92— Neera Tanden (@Neera Tanden) 1584452727.0
Is this leadership? Or just blowhardery from someone manifestly unfit to be president? https://t.co/if45jAqnvM— Jay Nordlinger (@Jay Nordlinger) 1584454816.0
Michigan is a swing state, and a crucial one for Donald Trump to win in November if he wants to be reelected. Latest polls in the Michigan show him losing to both Democratic candidates, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden . It's unclear if this outburst against the state's governor will help him in the general election.
The Twitter screed came just days after Trump told governors to try getting medical equipment for their state themselves.