Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been floated as a possible running mate for former Vice President Joe Biden in the coming 2020 election. However, her actions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic may have seriously hurt her popularity in the swing state that President Trump so desperately needs to win.
In an op-ed published on Saturday, the Michigan paper Detroit News, which endorsed Libertarian Gary Johnson over Trump in 2016, severely criticized Whitmer for playing politics as her state suffers through an unprecedented crisis.
“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer must send an unequivocal message to her constituents that Michigan is her priority in this hour of crisis,” wrote Detroit News. “Her running feud with President Donald Trump calls into question whether she’s acting in the best interests of this state, or on behalf of the Democratic Party.”
Whitmer has routinely used COVID-19 pandemic as a means to battle with President Trump, such as when she alleged the federal government was not helping her state with coronavirus while providing zero proof to support her case. She also reversed course after instructing medical professionals in her state not to prescribe the drug hydroxychloroquine, which the Trump administration had been pushing to combat COVID-19.
Though Detroit News did not necessarily criticize Whitmer’s handling of the pandemic in her state, the newspaper did feel that her priorities were out of place by focusing so much media time on criticizing the Trump administration.
“She’s also assumed the role of designated Democratic attack dog in this crisis, appearing almost daily on cable news shows to criticize the administration’s handling of the virus response,” Detroit News wrote. “That creates confusion about whether Whitmer is advocating for her Michigan constituents, or carrying out her duties as co-chair of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, or worse, serving her own ambition to be vice president.”
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