A Detroit Democratic lawmaker was officially censured by her party colleagues last weekend after she credited President Trump with for promoting hydroxychloroquine, which she says saved her life after she contracted COVID-19.
According to The Detroit News, State Rep. Karen Whitsett of Detroit ‘broke protocol’ by meeting with President Trump and VP Mike Pence during an April 14 meeting of coronavirus survivors.
“Thank you for everything that you have done,” Whitsett told Trump at the meeting. “I did not know that saying thank you had a political line. … I’m telling my story and my truth, and this how I feel and these are my words,” she said during the meeting.
Whitsett’s penalty? She was cast out by the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party organization, which unanimously voted via Zoom on Saturday to oust the first-term lawmaker representing Michigan’s 9th House District.
“We have the ability to be the referee when we see our leaders out there attacking and not being willing to have a discussion to find common ground,” said chairman Jonathan Kinloch. “Based on her actions and recent statements, she’s chosen to be a stand-alone Democrat with the goals of a Republican.”
According to the resolution, Whitsett has “misrepresented the needs and priorities” of Democrats to the President and public, and that she participated in events with the Republican Women’s Federation of Michigan to express her thanks to Trump.
Whitsett “has repeatedly and publicly praised the president’s delayed and misguided COVID-19 response efforts in contradiction with the scientifically based and action-oriented response” from Michigan’s Democratic leadership, “endangering the health, safety and welfare of her constituents, the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan.”
The admonition means she will not get the group’s endorsement for this year nor will she be able to engage in the group’s activities for the next two election cycles.
Trump appeared to offer his support for the state representative late Thursday, tweeting, “Disgraceful. (Whitsett) Should join the Republican Party!”
The president also tweeted Friday morning about the controversy: “The Fake and totally corrupt News is after her as a means of getting to me. She’s smart and strong, knows the truth. Already a heroine to many!“
Until March, Kinloch was Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s community liaison to southeast Michigan. He saidthe censure “speaks to the heart of Democratic representation” and should she wish, Whitsett has seven days to appeal.
“This is done with unless she appeals,” he said. “We will begin screening someone else to support that district.” –The Detroit News
Whitsett says she won’t engage in the “pettiness politics” of the Michigan Democratic organization, telling the Detroit News that she’s raised $450,000 in four days for resources for her district.
“I was asked to speak about my COVID experience,” she said. “The board has various issues and I don’t understand what this censure is this censure supposed to do?“
“We are in the middle of a pandemic if anyone has forgotten, which is what Jonathan and the governor should be concerned about,” she said, while stating that she had no involvement with the Republican women’s group.