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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that the protestors calling to reopen her state while bearing Nazi symbols and Confederate flags are "not representative of who we are in Michigan," denouncing them for celebrating "some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country."

The big picture: The demonstrators largely began last month after President Trump tweeted "Liberate Michigan" and called for Whitmer to loosen the state's stay-at-home order. Last week, armed protestors breached the Michigan Capitol where lawmakers were voting on whether to extend the state's emergency declaration.

  • On Friday, Trump tweeted that these protestors are "very good people" and that Whitmer "should give a little, and put out the fire."
  • The tweet drew comparisons by some Democrats to his comments calling protestors at the deadly 2017 "Unite the Right" rally "very fine people."

What they're saying:

"The Confederate flags, the nooses, the swastikas, the behavior that you've seen in all of the clips is not representative of who we are in Michigan. And the fact of the matter is, we're in a global pandemic. This isn't something we just negotiate ourselves out of as a political matter. This is a public health crisis."
— Gretchen Whitmer

The big picture: Michigan, which has been one of the hotspots for the coronavirus in the U.S., has maintained one of the nation's strictest stay-at-home orders, prompting backlash from those who want to see the economy reopened.

  • "Whether you agree with me or not, I'm working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan," Whitmer said.
  • "I'm going to continue to do my job, regardless of what tweets come out or what polls come out. ... We're going to listen to facts and science because we've got to get this right," she added.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.