With his go to to a ventilator manufacturing unit in Michigan as we speak, President Donald Trump is heading right into a key battleground state that has been racked with catastrophic flooding, hundreds of coronavirus deaths, financial instability and political tumult.
It’s additionally a state that he is threatened to withhold federal funds from over officers’ efforts to encourage absentee voting through the coronavirus pandemic and one with a governor that’s reportedly on the shortlist to look on the poll towards Trump this fall.
“Michigan—these are great people and great survivors—when you get right down to it,” Trump informed reporters Wednesday. “They’ve been through a lot over the years. And now we have a lot of auto factories being built there, and a lot of good things are happening.”
Trump is scheduled to satisfy with about half a dozen African American group leaders after which tour the Ford Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan—about 125 miles south of Midland, Michigan, the place hundreds of residents have been compelled from their flooded properties after heavy rainfall prompted two levee failures.
Trump narrowly gained Michigan over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in 2016, vowing to revive the state’s crucial manufacturing industries after years of decline.
But the coronavirus pandemic that began this spring has wrecked the nation’s economic system, forcing thousands and thousands to file unemployment claims as a lot of the nation went on obligatory lockdown. Michigan’s jobless fee hit 22 p.c final month.
Trump stated he is been involved with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat and frequent political foil to the president, in regards to the devastating floods and supplied federal help.
“They have a big problem with dams breaking. That’s a big, big problem,” he stated. “We’ve sent FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers out, and they’re very good at dams.”
His Michigan go to, scheduled earlier than the levee breaches, would not embody a cease by the flood-affected space however he stated he’ll return to the state when the scenario is extra secure to see the injury.
“I don’t want to get in the way of the fix-up though, because there’s a lot of water out there. It was a bad break,” he stated.
Whitmer, who gave the Democratic response to Trump’s State of the Union speech earlier this 12 months, is not anticipated to satisfy with Trump throughout his go to.
The Ford manufacturing unit that Trump will tour has been transformed to provide ventilators in response to a scarcity prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Michigan is among the many states which were hit hardest by COVID-19. More than 5,000 Michigan residents have died after contracting the coronavirus, and the state has recorded greater than 53,000 instances, in response to the newest tally from the governor’s workplace.
Hundreds of demonstrators have taken half in rallies in Michigan in protest of the Whitmer’s stay-at-home order. Trump appeared to again the protestors with a current tweet calling to “Liberate Michigan.”
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted his disagreement with the Michigan Secretary of State sending absentee poll functions to coach folks about their mail-in vote choices.
“Michigan sends absentee ballot applications to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election,” the president wrote. “This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany declined to say what federal funding Trump was implying he would possibly search to withhold from the state.
Trump later informed reporters he thinks mail-in voting is “very dangerous.”
“There’s tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality,” he stated.
Experts usually agree that voter fraud is uncommon, together with in mail-in eventualities.