Joe Biden hosts virtual roundtable with Gov. Whitmer

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Posted at 6:23 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 06:56:40-04

(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined former Vice President Joe Biden and other Governors today for a roundtable discussion on the coronavirus.

Whitmer stressed the need for more federal funding in order to get through the pandemic.

“We’re seeing the soul of America. The soul of America is all of those people just going out, and literally many of them risking and losing their lives to carry the rest of us on their back,” said Former Vice President Joe Biden and presumed Democratic Nominee during a virtual roundtable discussion about the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.

Biden was joined by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont.

A hot topic during the roundtable discussion was the financial crisis facing state and local leaders as tax revenues plunge and expenses skyrocket.

“What are the local officials coming to you asking for, what kind of shape are they in,” asked Biden.

“They’re in tough shape. This has already started,” said Gov. Murphy, as he described how budget cuts were forcing some municipalities to lay off firefighters and other first responders.

“If you look at our budgets, we’re anticipating about a $3B shortfall in the current fiscal year. It’ll be bigger than that in the next fiscal year. And the places of course, the biggest parts of our budgets are public health, public safety and public education. All of which are critical in a global pandemic,” said Gov. Whitmer.

During the discussion, Governor Whitmer urged Congress to send states more money, and talked about the lessons leaders are learning during the pandemic.

“I hope we’ve learned about racial disparities, and the agenda for America that really creates opportunity and equity. I hope that we have learned to embrace science,” said Whitmer.

While the governors discussed coronavirus testing and the economic impact, protestors gathered in Lansing again on Thursday, upset about Whitmer’s stay home order.

Her appearance in the Biden roundtable prompted criticism from the Trump campaign.

“Governor Whitmer has failed Michiganders in her audition to be Joe Biden’s Vice President. Her overbearing stay-at-home orders are putting Michiganders at risk by destroying the livelihoods of millions in the state,” said Laura Cox, Michigan GOP Chairwoman.

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