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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that President Trump's calls on Twitter to "LIBERATE" states from coronavirus lockdowns last week are "dangerous" and "encourage illegal activity."

Why it matters: Several governors have said that the president's comments damaged efforts to contain the spread of the virus and even contradicted his own recommendations, which say that states shouldn't reopen unless they've reported 14 days of declines.

What he's saying: "We have an order from governors — both Republicans and Democrats — that basically are designed to protect people's health, literally their lives," Inslee said. "To have a president of the United States basically encourage insubordination, to encourage illegal activity — these orders actually are the law of these states."

  • "To have an American president to 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."
  • "And it is doubly frustrating to us governors because this is such a schizophrenia. Because the president is basically asking people, 'Please ignore Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx. Please ignore my own guidelines that I set forth.'"

The other side: Vice President Mike Pence said on "Fox News Sunday" that Trump's tweets are meant to “encourage governors to find ways to safely and responsibly let America go back to work," denying that they are a form of incitement.

Go deeper: Governors respond to Trump's calls to "liberate" states from virus restrictions

Go deeper

45 mins ago - Health

COVID-19 drives smell loss awareness, research

A health worker carries out an olfactory test outside Buenos Aires. Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has thrust a relatively unknown ailment, anosmia — or smell loss — into the international spotlight.

Why it matters: Researchers hope smell testing becomes as standard as the annual flu shot, helping to detect early signs of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Senate passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate voted 50-49 on Saturday to approve President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: COVID relief has been a central promise for Biden, and passing the sweeping package has been a major priority for the administration and congressional Democrats.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

Why we need to know COVID's origins

The WHO's headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Geopolitical tensions are foiling efforts to get to the bottom of how COVID-19 originated.

Why it matters: Insights into how COVID-19 began can help us prevent future pandemics — especially if it involved any kind of leak or accident at a virology lab.