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Tipsheet

Whitmer Praised The Michigan Auto Industry: Here's Why They Can't Stand Her

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan spoke during the virtual Democratic National Convention on Monday night, slamming President Trump and praising the former Obama administration. 

Speaking live from Lansing, Whitmer claimed the auto industry was saved by President Obama and Vice President Biden, a grand success that empowered the automakers to convert into creating PPE at the start of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. 

Whitmer went on to excoriate the president for his response to COVID-19 and credited herself with "taking it seriously from the start" and "listening to the science." But the reality is that the state infection rate is much higher than in many states with far less stringent policies. 

Further, Whitmer, like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is facing tremendous heat for forcing nursing homes to house COVID-infected patients with vulnerable residents, leading to thousands of deaths. 

The auto industry, which stepped up to work with President Trump in the spring as the pandemic gripped the nation, has been particularly critical of Whitmer's extreme and senseless response to the lockdown. In July, Whitmer threatened to shut down all factories that weren't in compliance with impossible mask mandates. 

"There’s a future at risk. This is our future," said auto industry union leader Eric Welter. "There is market demand right now. People want our product and if we don’t deliver that product, that’s our job security. So we have to push on, do it safely, but product demand is job security."

Autoworkers in Flint also sent the governor an impassioned letter with data proving no COVID outbreaks had originated in auto factories. 

"On behalf of Michigan’s automotive leaders, I urge you to resist the closure of our manufacturing facilities and allow these demonstrated safety protocols to continue working to keep our businesses open," the letter said

Whitmer has also made national headlines throughout the pandemic for flexing executive power via emergency order more so than almost any other leader in the nation. Among her emergency orders, of which there are nearly 170 since the virus entered Michigan, are rules that have suffocated businesses across the state. 

She famously battled an elderly barber for months, attempting to stop him from cutting hair at all costs. He eventually prevailed

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