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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker fired back against Donald Trump, saying that at a time when he should be uniting Americans, Trump is dividing them.
Pritzker has traded verbal jabs with Trump lately, as Trump recently called out the Democratic governor at a White House briefing over COVID-19 testing.
Meanwhile, Pritzker specifically is complaining about Trump stoking the protests which have begun rising up across the country against state-level stay-at-home orders, in which Trump tells protesters via Twitter to “liberate” their states.
“Yeah, I’m very disappointed with the rhetoric and messaging coming from the president. We should be pulling people together right now,” Pritzker said. “We are here in Illinois, Democrats and Republicans, working together. I have frequent conversations with the elected officials around my state who are not in my own party and we all share the common goal of opening our economy, getting people back to school and back to normal as fast as we can, but with the overriding concern for people’s safety and health. That doesn’t seem to be the message coming out of the president when he tweets out ‘liberate Michigan’ or ‘liberate Minnesota’ or ‘liberate Virginia.’ He’s fomenting protest, and I hate to say, that is fomenting some violence.
“And I’m very concerned about what that might mean for the country if he keeps doing things like that,” the governor added. “We should be bringing people together, not dividing people now.”
Illinois has had about 33,000 reported cases of COVID-19, including 1,468 deaths.
Pritzker said that he doesn’t appreciate Trump injecting politics into a national emergency.
“Well, you know, I know what he’s trying to do, it’s a political maneuver in the middle of a national emergency, and he should stop it. But what could it mean, it could mean terrible things. You could end up with violence. You certainly are seeing that people are believing his rhetoric, even repeating the rhetoric that he had a month ago or so where he was calling this a hoax,” Pritzker said. “And people are going out in public in large crowds, not in Springfield, where there were only 20, but I saw in Michigan and other places large crowds were there — frankly, going to be giving each other coronavirus and people unfortunately will get sick and some people may die as a result of the president’s rhetoric that has brought them out to protest.”
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