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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attacked President Trump for his positions on extremist groups and called for national unity in an address Thursday, following news that the FBI thwarted an alleged plot to kidnap her and violently overthrow the state government.

What she's saying: The governor, who was the target of protests by right-wing groups for implementing strict coronavirus restrictions, acknowledged she "made tough choices" to protect the state from the pandemic, but insisted "we are not one another's enemies."

  • "This virus is our enemy and this enemy is relentless, it doesn't care if you're a Republican or Democrat ... it threatens us all."
  • "When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard, but I'll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this," Whitmer said. She added that "hatred bigotry and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan."
  • "As your governor, I will never stop doing everything in my power to keep you and our state safe. Never forget that we are all in this together."

Whitmer said extremists heard President Trump's refusal at a debate last month to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups "not as a rebuke, but as rallying cry, as a call to action."

  • "This should be a moment for national unity, where we all pull together as Americans to meet this challenge head-on," Whitmer said.
  • "Instead our head of state has spent the past seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division."

The other side: Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller responded to Whitmer moments after her address, telling Fox News: "If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror. The fact that she wakes up every day with such hatred in her heart towards President Trump."

Go deeper

Nov 17, 2020 - Health

States enact new restrictions amid record COVID-19 hospitalizations

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. reached a new record high of 73,014 on Monday, per the COVID Tracking Project.

Driving the news: Governors in several states announced new restrictions to combat the wave of rapid COVID-19 spread, with fears that the numbers will continue to accelerate as people gather for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Asymptotic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge says Florida ban on "sanctuary cities" racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing "sanctuary city" policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.