GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — President Donald Trump backed protesters in Michigan in a Friday morning tweet, saying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should "give a little, and put out the fire."
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Capitol in Lansing on Thursday, requesting to end Michigan's state of emergency. However, as the afternoon went on, some protesters moved into the building during the legislative session.
Protesters could be heard shouting "open Michigan now" from outside the House Chamber, others were inside clapping and stomping their feet. People also chanted "let us in," as they banged on the chamber doors. According to the Detroit Free Press, some protesters even had rifles on their shoulders and demanded to be allowed on the House floor during the legislative session.
Hundreds protest Gov. Whitmer's stay-home order on April 30
"The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire," Trump said on Twitter. "These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal."
Whitmer responded during a press briefing Friday afternoon, saying Michigan is not in a political crisis, but a health crisis.
"The spirit of make a deal and the spirit about what happened with the legislature about trying to negotiate sectors opening, we're not in a political crisis where we should just negotiate and find some common ground here," she said. "We're in the midst of a global pandemic that has killed almost 4,000 people in our state."
The House refused to extend the state of emergency on Thursday, instead voting to replace it with similar legislation. However, the governor said Thursday evening that under a 1945 law, she didn't need the legislature's approval. Whitmer signed an executive order on April 30 that extended the declaration to May 28.
The House also voted Thursday to authorize a lawsuit challenging the Democratic governor's authority and actions in the fight against COVID-19.
The governor said she will evaluate the need for the emergency and disaster declaration before they are set to expire and if it's not longer needed, she will end it.
MORE on 13 ON YOUR SIDE:
- House doesn't extend virus emergency, moves to sue Whitmer
- Whitmer extends executive order keeping restaurants, bars closed until May 28
- Court sides with Whitmer in lawsuit claiming executive orders violate constitutional rights
- Construction work can start back up May 7, Whitmer says
- Lawsuit seeks widespread virus testing in Michigan prisons
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