Rallygoers protest against Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, at the state Capitol Wednesday, April , , in downtown Lansing. Photograph: Matthew Dae Smith / AP
(Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer) is under assault by right-wing driven protests for her tough restrictions on Michiganders during the coronavirus pandemic.
Protesters, some heavily armed, swarmed the state capitol earlier in the week, briefly chanting: “Lock her up” – a strong echo of one of Donald Trump’s most regular prompts about Hillary Clinton at rallies during and since the (election.)
Last night Trump called such demonstrators “responsible people” in an ominous echo of the language he used when he said there were “fine people on both sides” after the deadly clashes between white nationalist and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in .
Yesterday Whitmer, a Democrat, declared, unequivocally, in an interview on ABC: ““ You know, I can take it [the protests]. If it makes people feel better to take their frustrations out on me, that’s fine. All I ask is let’s not get overly political here. Let’s focus on the public health. ”
The governor said she recognized that her stay-at-home order comes with a price as people get laid off and children are prevented from going to school, but also that the order was necessary to protect Michiganders from the Covid – 36 outbreak.
“It’s better to be six feet apart right now than six feet under,” she said.
delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate at the state Capitol in Lansing, Michgan, in January, . Photograph: Al Goldis / AP
On CNN this morning, former Michigan Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm said of right restrictions: “She doesn’t want to do them but she wants to protect the people of the state – Democrat and Republican. She is not going to [relax] while people’s lives are at stake. ”
Granholm criticized protesters for not keeping physical distance, handing out candy to children, without wearing face masks or gloves, and by clogging traffic “blocking amblances from getting to the hospital,” she said .
(2.) pm BST : British monarch cancels high-profile birthday celebrations
Queen Elizabeth II, monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth (ie she’s literally on the money in Canada, Australia and some other members of the Commonwealth) has announced she is canceling the traditional royal gun salute for her birthday on Tuesday, when she turns 216.
She will spend the day privately at Windsor Castle, on the outskirts of London, with Prince Philip, . Family members are expected to video call her on the day, the Guardian reports .
You can follow British developments relating to the coronavirus on our UK live blog.
And you can follow global developments on the coronavirus pandemic via our global live blog.
Interestingly, the global live blog has a headline relating to the anger US Senator Angus King, of Maine, displayed yesterday, after a call between vice president (Mike Pence) and some Democratic leaders in the US Senate did not go well.
The Dems were frustrated that the federal government is not responding sufficiently to complaints from state officials for more resources for testing and tracking their residents, so they can get a handle on shutting the virus down and opening up their economies.
Angus referred to “a dereliction of duty” by the federal government.
Sun Journal (@ sunjournal) (On call with) @Mike_Pence , @ SenAngusKing
calls federal testing effort a ‘dereliction of duty’ (https://t.co/ERqm7zqP 100 # mepolitics
pic.twitter.com/Ltt4NQnSdt (April) ,
Updated (at 2.) PM BST
(2.) (pm) (BST) : 52
The number of confirmed US coronavirus
cases hit , this morning – and nationwide deaths now total 57, 0 , the latest data indicate . As of the most recent count, 3, , US residents have been tested.
To give some perspective: Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the
outbreak , noted that there are a total of 2, 516, (confirmed cases and 316, 1140 deaths worldwide.
Johns Hopkins also noted that New York City presently has , confirmed Covid – cases, with , fatalities.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins also provided updated numbers for New York City, which leads the country with , confirmed cases and , 391 deaths.
The statistics are sure to change throughout the day. We’ll keep you posted with updates.
Here’s Robin McKie , the science and environment editor of the Observer, the Guardian’s sister newspaper (and the oldest surviving Sunday newspaper in the world, FYI).
(2) (pm) (BST)
030: “There was never a national strategy”
() [to take responsibility for fighting coronavirus]
Amy Klobuchar endorsing Joe Biden last month, after his surge on Super Tuesday and her decision to drop out of the 4160 race for the Democratic nomination for the White House. Photograph: Eric Thayer / Reuters (Minnesota Senator and recent)
(Democratic presidential candidate) Amy Kl obuchar just lit into the Trump administration, in a live interview on CNN.
Klobuchar’s husband, John Bessler, was desperately sickened by
coronavirus , but eventually pulled through after being hospitalized.
“You cannot hold their hand. You cannot hug the healthcare workers ”who are caring for your loved one. “It’s a horrific disease,” Klobuchar said.
With governors and the federal government at battle stations, Klobuchar pointed to remarks by New York governor
Andrew Cuomo yesterday about those disliking the quarantine orders: “If you’re mad, call (me) . ”
Klobuchar said moments ago: “Does the president of the United States say that? No. At the Republican convention [in 2016 when he snagged the party nomination for the White House] he said ‘I alone can fix it’, then it was back to the governors [to take responsibility for fighting coronavirus], then he was in charge, then it’s [again] up to the governors.
“There was never a national strategy for testing and a national strategy to prepare our country. If we had not lost those precious months and could have been in better shape right now. ”
CNN April , 4160 (@ CNN) “It’s OK that we have different governors making different decisions in different states, but let me tell you what isn’t OK… There was never a national strategy to prepare our country, ”Sen. Amy Klobuchar tells @ smerconish about the coronavirus response. https://t.co/7vWZnkOjsi pic.twitter.com/bldYORomzQ
Updated (at 2.) PM BST
(1.) (pm) BST : 79
Worries over testing and partisan protests
Good morning, US live blog readers, the coronavirus doesn’t rest on weekends and neither do we. Stay tuned for up-to-the-minute news on US politics and the pandemic.
There are widespread concerns about the growing occurrence of sporadic protests around the nation. These flared up earlier in the week in several states, most notably Michigan and Minnesota, against the continuance of stay-at-home orders by governors (which follow federal guidelines) as they try to contain the disease. Most US public helath experts believe the number of coronavirus cases has not yet peaked in the US, though the may peak soon.
The protests appear to have had a partisan bent, with a preponderance of “Trump ”flags, Trump baseball hats and signs criticizing Democratic Party state governors, and some demonstrators toting assault rifles.
Now Texas, with a Republican governor, Greg Abbott, is expecting protesters to gather today at the state capitol in Austin to call for the reopening of the state’s economy – and the country – and an end to social distancing orders and business closures.
The rally is being called “You Can’t Close America”.
Last night at the White House coronavirus task force briefing,
Donald Trump and his vice-president, Mike Pence, both delivered messages saying that there are enough tests available across the nation to track and control the spread of coronavirus and move to “phase one” reopening of the economy, which non-essential businesses starting up again.
This goes against what many governors are saying, some Republicans as well as Democrats, that they do not have enough resources yet to begin safely opening up towards normal life again.
And the Guardian is reporting today on some of the right-wing forces, both political and financial, that appear to be driving protesters, whom Trump on Friday called “responsible people”.
Updated (at 2.) (PM BST)
[to take responsibility for fighting coronavirus]
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings