President Donald Trump is lashing out at Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a day after she appeared on MSNBC and said he should declare a national disaster in response to the coronavirus.
"The federal government hasn't been prepared," Whitmer said Monday. "This virus is growing exponentially. This is really important that we show leadership, that we get aggressive here. We need to flatten this curve."
Trump responded Tuesday morning on Twitter.
"Failing Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive. We are pushing her to get the job done," he said, seemingly pushing the burden of dealing with the crisis onto a state official.
Minutes later, he added "Federal Government is working very well with the Governors and State officials. Good things will happen! #KILLTHEVIRUS."
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 (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2020
A disaster declaration would make it easier to release federal funding in response to the outbreak, which has put many people out of work and could last for months.
According to CNN, governors have to ask the president for such a declaration. As of last Wednesday, no governors from the states most affected had done so.
Whitmer offered a measured response to Trump's post, urging speedy action and outlining thirteen steps she's taken to combat the virus and its economic fallout in the past week.
Now that I’ve got your attention, Mr. President - attack tweets won’t solve this crisis. But swift and clear guidance, tests, personal protective equipment, and resources would.— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) March 17, 2020
FYI - here’s what I’ve done so far ⬇️ https://t.co/LZkN0U490p
Whitmer has closed schools and places of public gathering, prohibited gatherings larger than 50 people and expanded unemployment benefits
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel came to Whitmer's defense online, calling Trump a "jerk."
Shame on you, @realDonaldTrump. @GovWhitmer is working tirelessly to lead our state through these diff times. You could learn a lot about what a REAL chief exec looks like from her. You just can’t stop being a jerk-can you? People are dying. Grow up and try leading by example. https://t.co/pdo4Seokx2— Dana Nessel (@dananessel) March 17, 2020