Skubick: Whitmer grilled by Republicans during Congressional committee testimony


LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appeared before a Congressional committee today and complained about shortfalls in the federal government’s role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republican members of the panel took on the governor for her conduct during this pandemic.

In her prepared remarks for a congressional committee the governor took a bow for how her administration has handled the COVID-19 virus. 

And even though she never mentioned him by name, the governor repeated her criticisms of President Trump using words such a “dangerously insufficient, lack of centralized coordination and irregular and unpredictable.”

“We are grateful for every ounce of support that we’ve gotten. And FEMA region five has been really good to work with. The issue I think that has made it hard for us to hit our goals is that when we are expecting shipments, they don’t reflect what we are planning for them,” said Whitmer. “And so we find when they get here, that it’s very different. And so we have to rearrange the plan, which takes time and undermines our ability to, to do get on, to execute our plan.”

VO shot of congressman at 1:05 pm

But the president had his Republican defenders on the committee and they came after her.

Rep. David McKinley, a Republican from West Virginia, said, “You have been openly critical in the media of the Trump administration, his response to the pandemic.”

And he blamed her for delaying her request for a federal emergency declaration and for her handling of nursing home deaths.

To which the governor replied, “With all due respect. I’m not going to go toe to toe with you on every allegation that you’ve alleged.”

“I’m not going to go toe to toe with you on every point,” said Gov. Whitmer.

Michigan Republican Congressman Tim Walberg challenged her for allegedly putting seniors with COVID-19  back in nursing homes.

“We recognize that, of course in retrospect, probably the number of decisions we would have made some adjustments,” said the governor.

Mr. Walberg criticized the governor for not spending federal dollars she has with local government yet she was asking for more.

“We can’t do this alone. We need a federal government partnership here,” insisted Whitmer. “And I think the bottom line is we really need additional flexibility and additional resources. We, none of us would want the people that stayed on the frontline and put themselves in harm’s way to take care of everyone else to bear the brunt of these budget shortfalls.”

So far the president and the Republican Senate have not signed off on the additional federal aid the governor wants.

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