Gretchen Whitmer ‘Emits Real Guffaw’ over Prospect of Arresting Donald Trump for Coronavirus ‘Violations’
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) revealed in a recent interview she struggles with how to make residents do as she tells them.
In an interview with Steve Friess of Hour Detroit, Whitmer, who was recently elected vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, expressed her displeasure with President Trump when he would hold rallies in the state and defy her edicts:
But then our topic turns to the massive, mostly maskless rallies Donald Trump held across the state in the waning days of his losing presidential reelection bid, events that violated the state’s restrictions on large public gatherings as well as the advice of medical experts. Why were they allowed to take place?
“Uh, Steve, what am I gonna do? Arrest the president of the United States?” When I reply with a deadpan grin, “It’d be fun to watch,” she emits a real guffaw and takes a few seconds to be amused by the mental image before bringing herself back to the point.
Whitmer’s restrictions on crowd sizes and other mandates issued through executive order were ruled unconstitutional in early October by the state Supreme Court. She then began making new mandates through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
The governor claimed she was “being facetious” about the prospect of arresting a U.S. president for violating her mandates, but added, “one of the things that’s been hard throughout 2020 is people always want to know, what is the enforcement? What is the punishment? How do we make everyone do the right thing?”
“Governors across the country, Republican and Democrat alike, are struggling with that. None of us have unlimited resources and police forces to descend on every violation of every order that we issue,” Whitmer told the magazine.
“But the orders are important because people understand what’s happening and the majority of people follow them. That’s the most important value in them,” she said.
Whitmer backed down this week over her ban on winter school sports as political and public pressure grew to allow the season to begin.
She had originally mandated at basketball, hockey, wrestling, and competitive cheer could not start until “at least” February 21 because the nature of the activity would violate her orders.
Let Them Play Michigan, a group of student-athletes and parents, along with the Michigan Amateur Youth Hockey League, and the family of a deceased high school hockey player filed a lawsuit against MDHHS.
The governor’s announcement, which set the start date as February 8, came just two days after the suit was filed, which claimed the bans on contact sports “are unconstitutional because they deny students equal protection under the law, due process, and the right to free assembly, among other things,” Bridge reported.
The coalition’s attorney, Peter Ruddell, said, “Unfortunately, there is no other place for citizens to appeal a decision that restricts the parents’ and student athletes’ ability to pursue a key component of their public education.”
The plaintiffs also include Brian and Rona Dethloff, “whose son, a Mona Shores hockey player, died of suicide Jan. 18,” according to WOOD TV.
“Dethloff’s parents have publicly said they believe delays in the winter hockey season, coupled with their son’s ongoing mental health issues, pushed him to a breaking point and contributed to his death,” the station reported.
“This is for the best interest of the student-athletes. They need to be on the court for their mental health, their emotional health, their physical health and their long-term education and career pathways,” Ruddell said.