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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.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker