Michigan lawmakers talk pandemic as Trump visits

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Donald Trump traveled to battleground-state Michigan on Thursday to meet with African American state leaders and tour a Ford Motor Co. factory that is making ventilators.

“Michigan’s a critical state,” Rep. Debbie Dingell said. “As we deal with this pandemic, the auto industry, it once again shows that it’s the back bone of the American economy”

The plant is in Dingell’s district. She says the auto workers deserve recognition.

“The men and women making this product volunteered. They wanted to be part of helping their communities,” Dingell said.

The president and Michigan’s governor have publicly squabbled over federal aid and the state’s reopening strategy.

And tensions increased this week with the president threatening to pull federal funding after suggesting an absentee voting plan will enable fraud.

“Voting by mail is wrought with fraud,” Trump said.

“I get that he’s a politician, but we’re in the middle of a pandemic and people in Michigan are dying much more so than in other states,” Rep. Dan Kildee said.

Kildee says the president’s attacks only hurt the state’s recovery.

“What he needs to do is have a partner in Michigan,” Kildee said.

Rep. Bill Huizenga says the president isn’t to blame.

“I think the governor has thrown fuel on the fire,” Huizenga said. “This call to make sure there’s additional resources being added in, to me, falls on deaf ears because we haven’t used money that has been allocated so far.”

This is the president’s third visit to Michigan since December. Michigan is a key state in his plans for reelection this fall.

Despite warnings, the president did not wear a mask for at least some portions of the tour. He told reporters he did not want to give them the pleasure of seeing him with one on.

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