As the protest progressed, a pack of participants advanced on the state capitol building, chanting “Lock her up!” and other refrains targeting Whitmer. The Democratic governor has drawn the ire of Republican legislators and parts of the state’s workforce for her stringent mitigation measures, which critics have labeled overzealous and confusing.
Although Dingell acknowledged Thursday that she understands “being frustrated about staying home,” she also asserted that “bringing hate and fear into a time that is already full of fear and anxiety is just unacceptable.”
“There were people bare-handed, handing candy to children,” she said. “What they did was to help spread this disease around the state more, most likely — not contribute to the mitigation. And it just made me sad.”
Behind New York and New Jersey, Michigan and Massachusetts are roughly tied for the grim distinction of third-most coronavirus cases in the country, each with more than 28,000 people infected. Defending her office’s actions to blunt the outbreak, Whitmer said Wednesday: “We’ve got a unique crisis on our hands, and it demands a unique solution.”
Dingell also expressed support for the governor’s order, arguing Wednesday that “you have to do what you have to do right now because we don’t want people to die.”
“She talked to me about it. She was scared to death what the impact could be to Michigan residents,” Dingell said of Whitmer. “And everything she’s done is to try to save lives.”