Gov. Whitmer: Confederate flags, swastikas seen at protests 'not representative of who we are in Michigan'

Catherine Garcia

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Sunday decried racist signs that were on display during protests at the state capitol last week.

"Some of the outrageousness of what happened in our capitol this week depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country," Whitmer told CNN's Jake Tapper on State of the Union. "The Confederate flags and nooses, the swastikas, the behavior that you've seen in all of the clips, is not representative of who we are in Michigan. And the fact of the matter is, I mean, we're in a global pandemic. This isn't something we just negotiate ourselves out of and is a political matter. This is a public health crisis that has taken the lives of almost 70,000 Americans, has put 30 million people into unemployment."

The protesters were demonstrating against Whitmer's stay-at-home order, with many also waving Trump flags. Tapper asked Whitmer about protesters who entered the statehouse carrying firearms, and she responded that she knows "people are not all happy" about her order, but "the fact of the matter is, we have to listen to epidemiologists and our public health experts."

The decisions she makes are "going to protect the lives of everyone," Whitmer said, and "whether you agree with me or not, I'm working to protect your life if you live in Michigan. I'm going to continue to do my job regardless of what tweets come out or what polls come out or what people think makes sense. We're going to listen to facts and science because we've got to get this right."

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