In the past week, Trump has slammed Whitmer ― at times refusing to even say her name ― for appealing to the federal government for help in fighting a surge of coronavirus cases.
While speaking to Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show” Wednesday, Whitmer wore a T-shirt under her blazer that read “that woman from Michigan,” which was a play on one of the phrases Trump has used to describe her.
Despite the joke on her shirt, Whitmer told Noah that it wasn’t the time for politics:
“People are dying. I don’t have any time to think about fighting anything other than COVID-19 and that’s precisely why I say let’s not fight one another. We are not the enemy. This virus is.”
Earlier in the interview, Whitmer lamented that a lot of governors ― Republicans and Democrats ― weren’t receiving the support they’d hoped for from authorities on the federal level.
“So we’ve got to supplement that by contracting with anyone we can find masks from or test kits from, and we’re ending up bidding against one another,” she said, calling the process “destructive.”
Whitmer also appealed for a strategy of national buying power to ensure equitable access to needed supplies:
Trump has taken several swipes at Whitmer for her assistance requests.
“We’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor, you know who I’m talking about, from Michigan,” Trump told Sean Hannity in an interview last week.
The next day, Trump said he told Vice President Mike Pence ― who is leading the White House’s response to the pandemic ― not to call Whitmer or Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, another Democrat who has been critical of the administration.
“I say, ‘Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington; you’re wasting your time with him. Don’t call the woman in Michigan.’ It doesn’t make any difference what happens,” Trump said. “If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call.”
Pence called anyway.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has said that Whitmer is on the shortlist to be his running mate.
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