Whitmer: "Operation Gridlock" Protest Was "Essentially A Political Rally" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Michigan Gov. Whitmer: "Operation Gridlock" Protest Was "Essentially A Political Rally," Put Lives At Risk

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The "Operation Gridlock" event hosted by the Michigan Conservative Coalition in Lansing on Thursday drew thousands of people to the state capital Lansing to protest the state's strict stay-at-home quarantine order.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the event was "essentially a political rally" and unnecessarily risked lives Wednesday in an interview with MSNBC's Joy Reid.

"This small group that came together without masks on, passing out candy with bare hands to children, who were congregating together, brandishing their weapons, having posters of being anti-choice -- this was a political rally. It was a political rally that is going to endanger people's lives because this is precisely how COVID-19 spreads," she said.

No tickets were issued during the protest but one man was arrested for simple assault against another protester.

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER: It wasn't really about the stay-at-home order at all. It was essentially a political rally, a political statement that flies in the face of all of the science, all of the best practices in the stay-at-home order that was issued.

This looks like a lot of people and it felt like a lot of people but in the bigger scheme of things, Michigan's a state of 10 million people, the vast majority of whom are doing the right thing.

Our hospitals have stepped up, our nurses, our doctors. The average citizen who is staying home or contributing in some way to help people on the front line. That's the story of really of what's going on here.

This small group that came together without masks on, passing out candy with bare hands to children, who were congregating together, brandishing their weapons, having posters of being anti-choice -- this was a political rally. It was a political rally that is going to endanger people's lives because this is precisely how COVID-19 spreads.

Let me just add one more thing. The cars were blocking one of our hospitals so an ambulance literally wasn't able to get into the bay for ten minutes. This is the kind of behavior that extends the need for a stay at home orders, that spreads COVID-19, that overruns communities, and this is precisely the worst thing that could have happened today.

I'm all for people having a difference of opinion. If people are angry and I know there's a lot of angst and people are feeling it and they want to direct it at me, that's fine. I can take it. But showing up and being this irresponsible is not just endangering their own lives but the abilities to meet the needs of the people of this state who are trying to do the right thing.



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