Donald Trump has used rallies in Michigan and Wisconsin to urge their Democratic governors to relax coronavirus restrictions, even as both states experience record numbers of new cases.
The US president held large rallies in both swing states on Saturday, during which he attacked Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, and Tony Evers, the Wisconsin governor, over their stance towards tackling the pandemic.
The president’s renewed push to abandon coronavirus rules marks a high-risk attempt to reverse the polls in Midwestern swing states, many of which he won in 2016, but where epidemiologists say the pandemic is surging.
“You gotta get your governor to open up your state,” he told supporters in Muskegon, Michigan on Saturday afternoon. Michigan reported 1,791 new cases on Saturday, slightly lower than the record high of 2,030 reported earlier in the week.
Mr Trump then sparked anger among senior Democrats in the state by appearing to encourage his supporters in a chant of “lock her up”, in relation to Ms Whitmer, who was recently the target of an alleged kidnap plot by a rightwing militia. Mr Trump responded to the chant by saying “Lock them all up.”