President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Michigan, providing additional money to address the coronavirus pandemic as a top health official warned the situation in Detroit, a national “hot spot” for new cases of the coronavirus, will worsen.
The White House announced the disaster declaration Saturday, making money available for crisis counseling and other emergency measures. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had sought funds to set up field hospitals and help provide food and housing to people affected by the virus.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on “CBS This Morning on Friday that Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans “will have a worse week next week.” More than 3,600 people in Michigan were confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus as of Friday, and at least 92 have died, most from the three counties in the Detroit area, according to state officials.
The declaration follows a sometimes bitter back-and-forth between Trump and Whitmer, a Democrat who has criticized the Trump administration for being slow to respond to the pandemic.
Trump said in an interview this week that “we’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor from, you know who I’m talking about, from Michigan.” He later said: ”We don’t like to see the complaints.”
Whitmer tweeted in response that she had “asked repeatedly and respectfully for help,” adding, “You said you stand with Michigan — prove it.”
On Friday night Trump tweeted again, referring to the governor as “Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer” and saying she “Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude!”
Whitmer didn’t immediately respond to Trump’s tweet on Saturday. She did say in a tweet that the state had received more than 112,000 protective masks from the national strategic stockpile, with 8,000 more on the way.