President Donald Trump posted several bellicose tweets on Friday about the states where some people, including his supporters, are protesting their governors’ stay at home orders.
“And save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!” he added in his tweet about Virginia.
Over the past several days, all three states have seen protests against the stay at home orders issued by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D), and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) during the COVID-19 crisis. The demonstration in Michigan was led by two conservative groups, and several protesters in attendance were seen waving pro-Trump and Confederate flags.
Northam addressed Trump’s missive during a daily press conference.
“As the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I’m fighting a biological war,” the governor said. “I do not have time to involve myself in Twitter wars.”
“We are all on the same team when it comes to defeating COVID-19,” Bobby Leddy, Whitmer’s deputy press secretary, told TPM via email in response to Trump’s tweet.
“Right now the governor is focused on saving lives and protecting Michigan families,” Leddy said. “As the governor has said, we’re not going to reopen Michigan’s economy via tweet.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) blasted the tweet as protesters prepare to rally in his state as well, saying that Trump’s comments “encourage illegal and dangerous acts.”
“The president is fomenting domestic rebellion and spreading lies even while his own administration says the virus is real and is deadly, and that we have a long way to go before restrictions can be lifted,” Inslee said in a statement.
After first falsely claiming he had the “total authority” to force states to end their orders and reopen the economy, Trump backed down and admitted the decisions were up to the governors.
However, he has maintained his desperate push for businesses to open shop again by May 1 in order to protect his chances of reelection this year, and Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia all happen to be key states.