Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday suggested President Donald Trump’s administration had directed vendors to stop sending medical supplies to the Great Lakes State, though she refused to say who made the order and which vendors were affected.
Crain’s Detroit reported Whitmer’s comments on Friday.
“When the federal government told us that we needed to go it ourselves, we started procuring every item we could get our hands on,” Whitmer said in a radio interview on WWJ 950AM. “What I’ve gotten back is that vendors with whom we had contracts are now being told not to send stuff here to Michigan. It’s really concerning.”
Crain’s reported that “Whitmer didn’t say who has told vendors to stop sending medical supplies to the state, but strongly implied the order came from President Donald Trump’s administration” and “did not back away from her earlier claim” Friday afternoon during an appearance on CNN.
“We’ve entered into a number of contracts and as we are getting closer to the date when shipments are supposed to come in, they’re getting canceled or they’re getting delayed,” Whitmer said on CNN. “We’ve been told they’re going first to the federal government.”
Crain’s reported that the “governor’s office could not provide any additional information Friday afternoon substantiating Whitmer’s allegation.”
Trump took to Twitter as usual to criticize Whitmer, saying she “doesn’t have a clue.”
“I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic,” Trump tweeted. “Yet your Governor, Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude! #MAGA.”
Fox News reported that Michigan “had more than 2,200 confirmed cases of the virus, ranking fifth in the nation, and had seen at least 43 deaths.” Trump on Friday approved “a disaster declaration for the state, ordering federal assistance to support state and local efforts,” the outlet added.
Whitmer had claimed previously that her state hadn’t received “clear directives and guidance” from the Trump administration regarding how to handle the outbreak. More from Fox:
Earlier Friday, Trump told reporters during a White House news briefing that he advised Vice President Mike Pence – leader of the president’s Coronavirus Task Force – against communicating with Whitmer, claiming she was among a small group of governors who weren’t being “appreciative” of the Trump administration’s virus response efforts.
“I say, Mike … don’t call the woman in Michigan. I say, if they don’t treat you right, don’t call,” Trump told reporters.
Trump made similar remarks Thursday on Sean Hannity’s program, saying, “We’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor.”
“You know who I’m talking about, from Michigan. We don’t like to see the complaints,” Trump said.
Other prominent Democratic governors have praised the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“I spoke to the president this morning again. He is ready, willing, and able to help,” Cuomo said earlier this month. “I think the president was 100% sincere in saying that he wanted to work together in partnership and in a spirit of cooperation. Steps he has taken are evidence of that.”
Whitmer is considered to be a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.