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Whitmer says “angry rhetoric” threatens public health and safety

Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s concerned that “angry rhetoric” may turn into physical violence and turn back progress made to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan.

Whitmer says people have the right to disagree with her handling of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“But it is the threat of violence that is beyond the pale, that is unacceptable, that is undemocratic, that is un-American, frankly," she said. "We all have our right to speech, but none of us has the right to endanger other people.”

Whitmer was referring to demonstrations at the state Capitol where some people carried guns, dangled nooses, and refused to wear face coverings.

At least one more protest is expected this week.

The governor says she’s very concerned threats of violence will turn real, and she hopes critics of her orders will remain peaceful.

“Because it would be a terrible travesty if someone got hurt in this already tough, stressful moment in our state and in our nation.”

Whitmer says demonstrators risk getting infected and carrying the virus back home.

The governor has also expressed support for a ban on firearms in the Capitol.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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