MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump sent out a message to his 77 million Twitter followers on Friday morning, calling for the liberation of Minnesota.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
The president has been vocal about his desire to reopen the economy as soon as possible, seeking to end nationwide stay-at-home orders.
This week, WCCO’s Reality Check showed that President Trump doesn’t have the authority to reopen states.
Now on Friday, Trump’s two word message came during a series of tweets — also calling for the liberation of Michigan and Virginia — and to preserve Virginia’s second amendment right.
Fmr. Rep. Jason Lewis responded, saying that Minnesota “is being held hostage,” and that the state must be reopened.
Minnesota is being held hostage. We must #ReopenMN and we need to do it now!
— Jason Lewis (@LewisForMN) April 17, 2020
Hours after the tweet, in a daily briefing, Gov. Tim Walz addressed the president’s tweet. He said he tried calling the White House, but has yet to receive an explanation on what the tweet means.
Walz says the White House should tell him what Minnesota is doing differently or wrong: "That will take longer than a two word tweet, but I think there's a responsibility to tell us that."
— Patrick Kessler (@PatKessler) April 17, 2020
“I’d like to know what they think we could have done differently,” Walz said.
On Thursday, protesters gathered outside of the governor’s mansion in protest of his stay-at-home order. The group said that Minnesotans are suffering from financial pressures and increases in domestic violence and depression; adding that Walz’s COVID-19 projections have been “grossly inaccurate.”
Another protest advocating for ending the stay-at-home order is scheduled for Friday at noon outside of the governor’s residence.
Walz made headlines on Thursday when he joined a partnership of seven governors in the midwest to work together on deciding when to reopen the economy. They say their decisions will rely heavily on four main factors.
The battle against COVID-19 in Minnesota reached a grim milestone on Friday as the state’s death toll surged past 100, rising by 17 to 111. In all, the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Minnesota is 2,071.