Michigan Gov. Whitmer says protesters ‘carried nooses and swastikas’

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday that protesters who stormed the state’s capital last week were brandishing “nooses and Confederate flags and swastikas.”

Whitmer was speaking to the Today show when she was asked why a number of the protesters, armed with guns and not adhering social distancing guidelines, were demonstrating in Lansing.

“They carried nooses and Confederate flags and swastikas, and yet while we’re focusing on the open carrying automatic rifles — that is legal in Michigan,” she said.

She has said that she respects people’s right to dissent but that they must follow best practices put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s not advisable. It is contrary to all the CDC best practices. It’s contrary to what the Trump White House is saying that we should be doing, and yet, they are out there to demonstrate,” she continued.

Whitmer was of course referring to the hundreds of demonstrators who protested the state’s emergency measures in response to the coronavirus in Lansing.

Images from the protests show people carrying Confederate flags and others holding swastikas.

“The fact of the matter is that kind of rhetoric, that kind of ugly political rallying, is only making it harder for us to re-engage, which is the sad irony, is that demonstrations like that create the need to continue this aggressive stance that we’ve had to take to save lives,” she added.

Whitmer extended the stay-at-home mandate to May 15, but eased some restrictions, including on motor boating, golfing and curbside pick-ups at businesses.

Michigan reported a total of 44,397 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,179 deaths statewide as of afternoon Tuesday.

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