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WATCH: Michigan Gov. Whitmer criticizes Trump on virus response at Democratic National Convention

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spoke during the opening night of the Democrats’ virtual nominating convention Monday, touting Joe Biden’s work to rescue the auto industry and saying he would rally the country to fight the coronavirus and not deny it like US President Donald Trump has.

Watch Whitmer’s remarks in the player above.

The governor addressed a national audience from a United Auto Workers hall in Lansing.

Whitmer reminded viewers of the country’s last economic crisis — the Great Recession — and credited Biden, then the vice president, for joining with President Barack Obama to save the auto sector with a federal bailout.

Those workers, she said, have helped more than a decade later to make protective equipment for doctors and nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past few months, we learned what’s essential — rising to the challenge, not denying it. We’ve learned who is essential, too,” the governor said, “not the just the wealthiest among us. Not a president who fights his fellow Americans rather than fight the virus that’s killing us and our economy. It’s the people who put their own health at risk to care for the rest of us.”

In her five-minute speech, she continued to criticize the Trump administration for its lack of a “national strategy” to combat COVID-19, saying everyone who needs a test should get one for free and kids and educators should have adequate funding to safely return to school.

Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, “will lead by example,” Whitmer said.

“Science, not politics or ego, will drive their decisions.

They know the health of our people goes hand in hand with the strength of our economy.”

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