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President Donald Trump’s coronavirus adviser set the record straight for pearl-clutching critics over his remarks on new Michigan COVID-19 restrictions.
White House coronavirus task force member, Dr. Scott Atlas, posted a clarification on social media of his earlier criticism of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest lockdown orders. The Democrat leader and others attacked Atlas for a tweet in which he called for citizens to “rise up” against the measures being implemented in the state to slow the spread of the virus.
Reacting to what Whitmer’s administration is referring to as a “three-week pause” in the latest lockdown measures, Atlas issued a call to defend freedom and prompted a rebuke by the governor and others.
Earlier in the year, Whitmer had instituted extensive and restrictive measures to stem the coronavirus spread and followed up Sunday with the latest emergency order, which will take effect on Wednesday, shutting down restaurants and other businesses as the nation heads into the holiday season.
“The only way this stops is if people rise up,” Atlas tweeted Sunday. “You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp.”
Responding to Atlas’ tweet later Sunday, Whitmer said she would not be “bullied.”
“We know that the White House likes to single us out here in Michigan, me out in particular. I’m not going to be bullied into not following reputable scientists and medical professionals,” she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
In a jab at the president and his administration, she added that she consults “people that actually have studied and are well respected worldwide on these issues, not the — not the individual that is doing the President’s bidding on this one.”
MI Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: “I’m not going to be bullied into not following reputable scientists and medical professionals.” pic.twitter.com/PKPIQRukM4
— The Hill (@thehill) November 16, 2020
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel slammed the tweet by Atlas as “disappointing, irresponsible, and the reason why the United States finds itself in such desperate circumstances regarding COVID-19.”
After Atlas was targeted with more social media meltdowns over his comments, which the left slammed for allegedly inciting violence, he took to Twitter to respond.
“Hey. I NEVER was talking at all about violence. People vote, people peacefully protest. NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!!” he tweeted.
Hey. I NEVER was talking at all about violence. People vote, people peacefully protest. NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!! https://t.co/LljvwMvjDV
— Scott W. Atlas (@SWAtlasHoover) November 16, 2020
Whitmer explained in her Sunday press conference that Michigan will begin a “three-week pause targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities” in order to confront the spread of COVID-19. The state reported a single-day record of 8,516 new cases last Friday, according to ClickOnDetroit.
The new order stops in-person classes at high schools and colleges, closes restaurants to indoor dining and suspends organized sports for three weeks. Gatherings indoors were limited to 10 people and can now not exceed two households, obviously affecting Thanksgiving plans for many.
Tonight, @MichiganHHS issued an emergency order that enacts a three-week pause, targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities to curb our state’s rising #COVID19 infection rates. pic.twitter.com/yEc0enVPBX
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) November 16, 2020
The order “focuses on indoor gatherings and the settings where groups gather and where the virus can thrive,” according to Robert Gordon, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services.
“The situation has never been more dire. We are at the precipice and we need to take some action,” Whitmer said at the news conference.
Meanwhile, Atlas also responded to critics in another tweet Sunday, reminding people that “more mandates & lockdown” come courtesy of local and state governments.
Just to clarify the obvious.
US pandemic policy is:
Federally supported (massive resources, OWS, personnel, beds, logistics);
State managed; &
Want more mandates & lockdown? Contact your governor. That’s state controlled. Not federal. Period.#Federalism
— Scott W. Atlas (@SWAtlasHoover) November 16, 2020
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