President Trump encouraged Vice President Mike Pence not to call the Democratic governors of Washington state or Michigan because they have been critical of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Govs. Jay Inslee of Washington state and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan have expressed their displeasure with the federal response to the overwhelming pressure facing the medical community as the number of coronavirus cases continues to skyrocket.
Trump addressed their criticism during the White House coronavirus task force Friday evening. He first accused Whitmer of not knowing “what’s going on” while also touting Inslee’s unsuccessful bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
“Mike Pence. I mean, Mike Pence, I don’t think he sleeps anymore. These are people that should be appreciated. He calls all the governors. I tell him — I mean, I’m a different type of person — I say, ‘Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington. You are wasting your time with him. Don’t call the woman in Michigan.’ It doesn’t make any difference what happens,” Trump said.
Trump added, “If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call. He’s a different type of person. He will call quietly, anyway. OK? But he has done a great job. He should be appreciated for the job he has done.”
He also said that he wants the governors to be more “appreciative” for the collective effort of the federal government, FEMA, and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Washington state has been one of the hardest-hit states by the pandemic and was the site of the United States’s first related death.