Michigan Gov. Whitmer reveals she lost a 'dear friend' to coronavirus this week and brands armed anti-lockdown protests 'organized political rallies' that contribute to the spread of the disease

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has revealed she lost a 'dear friend' to coronavirus as she branded armed anti-lockdown protests 'organized political rallies' that are contributing to the spread of the deadly infection.
Whitmer told CNN Friday morning that she 'lost a dear friend of mine this week' and issued a grave warning to Michigans that COVID-19 is still a 'very real threat'.
'It's still prevalent across the country and there still could be unchecked community spread if we don't continue to be vigilant,' she said.    
The Democrat governor also laid into the Republican-led legislature for not wanting 'to come into work yesterday' because of the anti-lockdown rally which drew hundreds of armed residents to the state capitol - and which Whitmer accused the Republicans of having encouraged.  
This came the same day the Michigan courts heard the first arguments from the legislature in its lawsuit against the governor over her extension to the state's emergency order. 
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told CNN Friday she lost a 'dear friend' to coronavirus this week as she branded armed anti-lockdown protests 'organized political rallies' that are contributing to the spread of the deadly infection
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told CNN Friday she lost a 'dear friend' to coronavirus this week as she branded armed anti-lockdown protests 'organized political rallies' that are contributing to the spread of the deadly infection
'The legislature apparently didn't want to be around for this activity that many of them incited, frankly and so that's why apparently they decided not to come into work yesterday,' Whitmer blasted on CNN Friday.  
'I'm glad to see it was just a couple hundred people. I think that the rain had an impact but the more people that stay home, the quicker we can get thorough this pasture and start to continue re-engagement of our economy. 
'And I think that while there's a lot of disagreement on a number of fronts I think we're unanimous that that's our ultimate goal,' she added.  

Whitmer criticized the anti-lockdown protesters who gathered outside the state capitol building in Lansing Thursday, for what organizers had dubbed 'Judgement Day', saying their actions are increasing the spread of the deadly virus.
'That's the fear - that everyone from Dr Fauci to Dr Khaldun, who is our chief medical executive here in Michigan, will tell you that it's the congregating of big groups of people who aren't wearing masks, who aren't staying six feet apart that will perpetuate the community spread,' Whitmer said. 
The Democrat governor also laid into the Republican-led legislature for not wanting 'to come into work yesterday' because of the anti-lockdown rally which drew hundreds of armed residents to the state capitol
The Democrat governor also laid into the Republican-led legislature for not wanting 'to come into work yesterday' because of the anti-lockdown rally which drew hundreds of armed residents to the state capitol

'We're doing an amazing thing here in Michigan, the vast majority of people are doing the right thing... [but] when people come from around the state and congregate and don't do it responsibly, then go home, that's what contributes to community spread and I think it's a very real concern as we see the numbers continue - 79 of 83 counties still have COVID-19 in them and that's why we have to keep taking this seriously.' 
Whitmer also insisted the protests are not 'really about the lockdown' but are instead about people making an 'organized political statement'. 
'I think that these are not just citizens that are unhappy about having to stay home - it's a political rally essentially,' she said.
'When the big float rolls in - that is about Donald Trump - when people are showing up with guns, when people are showing up with things like confederate flags it tells us that this isn't really about the lockdown or about a perception of a stay-at-home order. It's really an organized political statement.'
Whitmer urged residents to take 'politics out of this conversation'.  
'It's unfortunate because we have to take politics out of this conversation,' she said. 
'This is about the public health and whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, if you live in the state of Michigan everything I'm doing is about trying to save your life and keep you and your family safe and help us make sure that we can shorten the amount of time that we have to deal with the economic stress because of the public heath crisis.'
When asked whether Vice President Mike Pence had responded to her request this week for him to discourage protesters from coming out, she confirmed her pleas continued to go unanswered. 
One protester at Thursday's rally held aloft a poster where they had defaced Whitmer's photo with an Adolf Hitler style mustache. Whitmer criticized the protesters saying their actions are increasing the spread of the deadly virus
One protester at Thursday's rally held aloft a poster where they had defaced Whitmer's photo with an Adolf Hitler style mustache. Whitmer criticized the protesters saying their actions are increasing the spread of the deadly virus
A fight broke out between protesters Thursday when one demonstrator (center) was manhandled out of the crowds for waving a doll on a noose
A fight broke out between protesters Thursday when one demonstrator (center) was manhandled out of the crowds for waving a doll on a noose
'I've asked a couple of times and both times it was acknowledged that i had made the request but I think that anyone with a platform has a responsibility to try to encourage people to do the right thing and to stay safe,' she said.  
The Michigan Court of Claims heard the first arguments from the legislature in its lawsuit against Whitmer over her extension of Michigan's emergency order Friday morning.
The Republican-majority legislature sued the Democratic governor last week, saying she had exceeded her authority in extending her emergency powers to tackle the coronavirus pandemic without lawmakers' approval.  
They are asking the court to declare Whitmer's stay-at-home order and other executive orders designed to slow the spread of the virus 'invalid and unenforceable.'  
'This case is instead about a question of whether a governor, this governor or any governor in the future, can exercise effectively limitless, unilateral, temporally-unbounded authority,' said Michael Williams, an attorney for the Republican Party, during the virtual proceedings streamed on YouTube.
Whitmer's counter-argument is that her actions are legal and to remove the orders would endanger the public health of state residents.
'Her duty to declare an emergency if conditions require it persists,' Chris Allen, Whitmer's attorney said. 
'There nothing in the text at all about the governor's ability to keep responding if the emergency exists.'
Judge Cynthia Stephens has not yet issued a ruling over the case. 
This tops off a turbulent week for the governor, as she has faced ongoing criticism leveled at her stay-at-home order from residents who want to return to normal life as well as violent threats made against her online.    
Many protesters were heavily armed with rifles and some were pictured wearing police-style bulletproof vests. Around 200 protesters marched on the state capitol building Thursday demanding an end to lockdown.
Few opted to wear face masks, and many held up banners slamming the governor and her response to the pandemic. 
One protester held aloft a poster where they had defaced Whitmer's photo with an Adolf Hitler style mustache next to the slogan 'Tyranny has a face'. 
The protest was peaceful apart for a fight that broke out among fellow demonstrators when one man carrying an ax was manhandled out of the crowds for waving a doll on a noose.
The man was confronted by several fellow protesters who slammed him saying he was sending out the 'wrong message' after he claimed the doll was Whitmer.
Protesters had been warned ahead of the event that they would face arrest if they brandished weapons in a threatening manner. 
Yesterday's rally marked the third time Michigan residents have taken to the streets to protest against Whitmer's stay-at-home order, which they have branded 'unconstitutional'.
Michigan's stay-at-home order is one of the strictest across the whole of the US and has been extended until at least May 28. 
Hundreds of protesters, some armed, gathered at the capitol building on April 30 to protest against the extension last month. 
Several protesters spilled inside the building, with some heavily-armed men pictured on the visitor's balcony in the Senate chambers. 
The first protest on April 15 - named 'Operation Gridlock' - saw thousands of cars block the streets around the capitol building as demonstrators packed in on the lawn outside.  
This week, it emerged Whitmer has been the subject of numerous vile online threats made by residents opposed to her order. 
According to the Detroit Metro Times, four private Facebook group with a combined 400,000 members had posts encouraging acts of violence against Whitmer and defiance of her social-distancing orders.
Anti-lockdown protesters descended on the Michigan capital of Lansing again Thursday
Anti-lockdown protesters descended on the Michigan capital of Lansing again Thursday
One protester wore a rain poncho and a bandanna covering his face while carrying a firearm - something protesters can do under the state's open carry law
One protester wore a rain poncho and a bandanna covering his face while carrying a firearm - something protesters can do under the state's open carry law 

Several members of the groups even called for the assassination of Whitmer ahead of Thursday's rally, with one man writing: 'Can we please just take up a collection for an assassin to put that woman from Michigan down.'
Other hateful statements include: 'Plain and simple she needs to eat lead and send a statement to the rest of the democrats that they are next.'   
But while protesters have been very vocal about their upset over her stay-at-home order, Whitmer's handling of the pandemic has been been met by approval from most state residents. 
In a Washington Post-Ipsos poll, 72 percent of residents said they approved of her actions while 25 percent disapproved. 
Whitmer's initial 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' order was introduced on March 24 and she has extended it until May 28.
Some restrictions on non-essential businesses have been relaxed in the state, however.  
Garden stores, nurseries, lawn-care, pest-control and landscaping operations were allowed to resume business from April 24. 
The construction industry could return to work on May 7, and the manufacturing industry restart on May 11. 
Nonessential businesses are still limited to minimum operations or remote work. 
Retailers that do not sell necessary supplies can reopen for curbside pickup and delivery, while bars and restaurants continue to be limited to take-out only. 
As of Friday, 50,102 residents have been infected and 4,825 have been killed by the virus. 
Michigan Gov. Whitmer reveals she lost a 'dear friend' to coronavirus this week and brands armed anti-lockdown protests 'organized political rallies' that contribute to the spread of the disease Michigan Gov. Whitmer reveals she lost a 'dear friend' to coronavirus this week and brands armed anti-lockdown protests 'organized political rallies' that contribute to the spread of the disease Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 00:54 Rating: 5

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