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Whitmer: Virus response to be better coordinated under Biden

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Nov. 5, 2020 photo
Associated Press

The United States will have a coordinated, science-based response to the coronavirus once President-elect Joe Biden takes office, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday, expressing optimism while warning that Michigan’s surging cases will likely continue to grow in coming months.

The Democratic governor’s criticism of President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic has led him to lash out at “the woman in Michigan,” including by telling her to “open” a state where many business restrictions were lifted long ago. Whitmer, a national co-chair of Biden’s campaign whom he vetted as a potential running mate, said she had a “lovely conversation” with him after he won the battleground state.

“He’ll be a wonderful partner as we confront a lot of hard issues going forward,” she told The Associated Press. “I’m really grateful for his friendship and look forward to staying very close.”

Whitmer said that nine months after she criticized the Trump administration for not having a national COVID-19 strategy, “there still isn’t one.” She credited Biden for announcing a coronavirus transition advisory board on Monday.