Like many others in the U.S, Saturday Night Live has seen the photos of people in states like Michigan, Kentucky, and Wisconsin protesting against the current stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s why for SNL’s latest episode during quarantine, they had Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Zoom in to offer some helpful safety tips for objectors. Why? Well, “governors are sort of having a moment,” Whitmer, played by Cecily Strong, joked.
With a Labatt Blue beer in hand, Whitmer started her deck-side chat by talking directly to those who may not be familiar with her, “some smoke show Midwestern governor nobody heard about til a couple weeks ago.” Unlike her fellow Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California, Whitmer has not yet gotten a fun Twitter nickname. She’s just had to deal with President Donald Trump’s backhanded compliments.
"Trump refers to me as 'that woman from Michigan.' But I'm not offended because I am proud to be from Michigan,” Strong’s Whitmer says. “And 'that woman' is also what Trump calls his wife."
It’s why she was happy to throw back a cold one and help Michiganders stay safe, even if some of them are currently swarming her home. "Yeah, I'm nursing a Labatt's. Because even though most governors are laying down restrictions because of the virus, mine are somehow too far," she says, broaching the gender-based double-standard. “Look people. It's 'Live Free or Die,' not 'Live Free and Die.'"
Also, she disagrees with those in Trump’s camp who have compared the protesters to Rosa Parks. “Yeah, if Rosa Parks was fighting for her right to get hit by a bus.”
"Apologies, it's the Labatt's talking,” she says. In all seriousness, SNL’s Whitmer just wants those in her home state to stay home. "I promise you can call me a bitch from the safety of your couch,” she says. “It's called Twitter."
For those who still need to take to the streets, Whitmer has some suggestions as to how they can adhere to the CDC’s latest social distancing guidelines of standing six feet away from others. “If the tip of your AK-47 can touch the tip of your buddy's AK, back up," she says. Whitmer also asked that protesters wear masks, “but not a Joker mask, not a clown mask, and absolutely no masks that come with a hood.”
While Whitmer may be on Joe Biden’s short list of possible vice presidential candidates, she plans to stick it out in Michigan until the COVID-19 crisis is over. “Because we're not out of the woods. We never will be. We live in Michigan,” she says. “And to anyone that stands in the way of the health and safety of my constituents, I'll remind you, the Michigan is a mitten."
Strong’s Whitmer holds up her hand to show the shape of her state. “And this is where I live," she says offering a middle finger salute to all her haters.
Only respect for “that woman.”
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.