Gretchen Whitmer Won’t Apologize for Locking Down Michigan: “I’m Not Changing The Way I Run This State”

State   |   Mary Margaret Olohan   |   May 18, 2020   |   6:37PM   |   Lansing, Michigan

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday that she will not change the way she runs Michigan during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Michigan governor discussed her coronavirus restrictions and the protests that have erupted against her executive orders during an interview with Fox News.

Whitmer sparked outrage after implementing strict stay-at-home orders prohibiting Michigan residents from visiting their family and friends, holding public and private gatherings of any kind, and restricting which businesses may operate.

“There is a lot of politics at play here, unfortunately,” Whitmer told Fox News. “The protests are very political in nature instead of being focused on the stay-at-home order.”

“But I’ve been focused on doing my job, and I’m going to keep doing that and I’m not going to apologize about that,” Whitmer said, before adding, “I’m not changing the way I run this state because of some protests.”

Protests against Whitmer’s restrictions began in the middle of April and have continued almost weekly in Lansing, Mich., Fox News reported, causing lawmakers to worry about large groups gathering together during the pandemic. Whitmer has also raised concerns about protestors carrying assault weapons.

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“The threats of violence are very real and no one in public life should be subject to that,” Whitmer said. “With everyone from local leaders to my calls with the White House, I’ve asked if we can all please do whatever we can to bring down the heat.”

Despite the protests, the Michigan governor has not backed down. Whitmer previously warned that her executive orders are “not optional” during a press conference. “I expect people to follow the law. These executive orders are not a suggestion. They’re not optional. They’re not helpful hints,” Whitmer said May 11.

Whitmer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.