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Whitmer Stunned By Michigan Protest: Saw Swastika & Confederate Flags, Barehanded People Giving Candy to Children

Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer said that the “gridlock” protest outside the state capitol this week was “a political protest” and not really about the measures she has implemented to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s The Dean Obeidallah Show, host Dean Obeidallah asked Gov. Whitmer about the protest in Lansing on Wednesday, and what the motivations might be for the very large, not socially-distanced gathering. The protest made for juicy social media news, and there were many striking photos and videos from the event.

But Whitmer said it was much less about lockdowns and quarantines than it was just a general political protest from the right, and that despite assurances ahead of time from organizers, the crowd was abundantly dismissive of any social distancing whatsoever.

“Why are people protesting your measures that are literally intended to keep Michiganders safe?” Obeidallah asked.

“Sadly, it was really a political protest–it was not necessarily about the policy,” said the governor. “People said they would drive by and not get out of their cars and would practice the CDC safe guidelines.”

She described the the scene as chaotic and political, and especially as being unsafe.

“It was a definitely a political rally. I’ve not often seen a Confederate flag at the state capitol—and there were a few of them. There was someone who had signs that had a swastika on it…It was really a very political demonstration and rally,” Whitmer said. “And It flies in the face of what we know we need to be doing to keep ourselves safe.”

She emphasized that such a gathering isn’t just a risk to the health of the participants, but also to others they might interact with later.

“They congregated at the Capitol without masks. I saw an adult handing out candy to kids — bare hands to bare hands,” she said. “These are people who came from all different parts of our state, congregated and did all of the things we know put people in danger.”

“They are going to go back to those rural parts of Michigan and possibly take COVID-19 with them,” said Whitmer. “Or pick it up at a gas station as they filled up on way in or out of town.”

“This is how COVID-19 spreads,” she said.

“They even lined up cars in front of a hospital and precluded an ambulance from being able to get in and out of the bay. You think about that clear image of them endangering other people,” she added.

She also pointed out the ironic fact that any increase in infections as a result of the protest could actually delay the opening of restrictions the demonstrators were ostensibly there to protest.

“I think It’s very likely some of these people are going to get sick and they are going to contribute to us having to continue in this stay home posture,” Whitmer said.

Listen to the clip above, via SiriusXM.

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