The Democrat, who has been tipped to become Joe Biden’s running-mate ahead of November’s election, was warned by local media this weekend that she could damage her party’s chances in the swing state.
In an op-ed published on Saturday, The Detroit News slammed Ms Whitmer for playing politics during the pandemic.
It warned that there was “confusion about whether Whitmer is advocating for her Michigan constituents, or carrying out her duties as co-chair of Biden’s presidential campaign, or worse, serving her own ambition to be vice president.”
Ms Whitmer was described as having assumed “the role of Democratic attack dog”, whilst other Democrat governors, including New York’s Andrew Cuomo and California’s Gavin Newsom, have appeared to work in collaboration with the White House.
California’s governor, Mr Newsom, previously told CNN that Mr Trump had been “responsive”, saying “The fact is, every time I’ve called the president, he’s quickly gotten on the line.”
Michigan’s governor has now come under fire for doing the opposite.
“Trump is a petty and vindictive man. He’s not beyond punishing a state whose governor torments him, and has said as much publicly.”, The Detroit News op-ed warned.
Ms Whitmer claimed last month that the federal government had stopped sending supplies to Michigan. In the past week, the governor performed a U-turn after previously blocking the use of the drug hydroxychloroquine, which had been touted by Mr Trump as a treatment for coronavirus.
Her actions appeared to irritate the president, who said on Twitter:“I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude! #MAGA.”
The Detroit News cautioned that politics needed to be set aside to save lives during the pandemic, with Michigan recording more than 15,000 cases of the coronavirus and over 600 deaths.
Until the pandemic is over, the paper warned that “Michigan residents need to know their governor is serving one master – them.”
Whilst it did not specifically criticise the governor’s management of the coronavirus in her state, it added that people were better served when politicians at all levels worked together. It added: “Partisanship is unacceptable when lives are at stake.”