Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) expressed confusion on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday about President Trump's calls on Twitter to "LIBERATE" several states from coronavirus lockdowns last week, claiming he's contradicting the federal government's own plan for governors.

Why it matters: Hundreds of Americans violated social distancing orders over the weekend to hold protests opposing state closures of businesses and schools. Trump encouraged them to do so in Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia — three states with Democratic governors.

What he's saying: "I don't think it's helpful to encourage demonstrations and encourage people to go against the president's own policy," Hogan said.

  • "The president's policy says you can't start to reopen under his plan until you have declining numbers for 14 days, which those states and my state do not have. So then to encourage people to go protest the plan that you just made recommendations on Thursday — it just doesn't make any sense."
  • Hogan added that he understands the frustration of living under a lockdown, and he said that state governments are "doing everything we possibly can to reopen in a safe manner."

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), one of the governors who Trump has targeted, said on CNN that "this is not the time for protests, this is not the time for divisiveness. This is time for leadership that will stand up and provide empathy. It's the time for truth."

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) didn't respond directly to Trump, but said on CNN regarding the protests: "The hard part of public health is when you're doing a good job, you're saving lives, and it's hard to quantify precisely what that looks like."

  • "But we know that this curve was steep at the trajectory we were headed and now it looks as though it's starting to flatten," she continued. "These efforts are making a difference in saving lives. We've got to continue doing that."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) called the tweets "dangerous" and claimed that they encouraged "illegal activity."

  • "To have an American president encourage people to violate the law — I can't remember any time during my time in America where we have seen such a thing. It is dangerous because it can inspire people to ignore things that actually can save their lives. And I don't know that there's another way to characterize it."

The other side: Vice President Mike Pence claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that Trump's tweets, which many have argued are inciting unrest in these states, are meant to “encourage governors to find ways to safely and responsibly let America go back to work.”

Go deeper ... In photos: Americans gather to protest social distancing

Go deeper

2 mins ago - Technology

What a President Biden would mean for tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A Biden presidency would put the tech industry on stabler ground than it's had with President Trump. Although Biden is unlikely to rein in those Democrats who are itching to regulate the big platforms, he'll almost certainly have other, bigger priorities.

The big picture: Liberal Silicon Valley remains one of Democrats' most reliable sources for big-money donations. But a Biden win offers no guarantee that tech will be able to renew the cozy relationship it had with the Obama White House.

Virtual school is another setback for struggling retail industry

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A virtual school year will likely push retailers even closer to the brink.

Why it matters: Back-to-school season is the second-biggest revenue generating period for the retail sector, after the holidays. But retailers say typical shopping sprees will be smaller with students learning at home — another setback for their industry, which has seen a slew of store closures and bankruptcy filings since the pandemic hit.

1 hour ago - Health

The pandemic hasn't hampered the health care industry

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The economy has been tanking. Coronavirus infections and deaths have been rising. And the health care industry is as rich as ever.

The big picture: Second-quarter results are still pouring in, but so far, a vast majority of health care companies are reporting profits that many people assumed would not have been possible as the pandemic raged on.