DetroitNews reports Detroit Democrats plan to vote to censure and bar any future endorsements of a Democratic lawmaker who credited President Donald Trump with advocating for the drug that she said cured her of COVID-19.
State Rep. Karen Whitsett, D-Detroit, broke protocol by meeting with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during an April 14 meeting of COVID-19 survivors, during which she credited hydroxychloroquine for saving her life.
“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.”
The meeting and other comments Whitsett made prior to and during the coronavirus pandemic have landed her in hot water with the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization.
The group, as first reported by Gongwer News Service, plans to vote Saturday via Zoom on a resolution to censure Whitsett, a first-term lawmaker representing the 9th Michigan House District.
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.
“At the end of the day, we have political systems,” said Jonathan Kinloch, chairman of the organization. “We have political parties, and political parties exist for a reason.
“They do not belong to themselves,” Kinloch said of endorsed candidates and elected officials. “They belong to the members and precinct delegates of the Democratic Party.”
Up until March, Kinloch was Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s community liaison to southeast Michigan.
The developments quickly drew the ire of Donald Trump Jr., who tweeted Thursday: “What a joke. Remember folks, the narrative can only be against Trump and if you break those rules the left will turn on their own.”
‘I will continue to fight’
Whitsett, meanwhile, said she plans to continue working for the district, adding she has been delivering food and cleaning products to those in need throughout the pandemic.
“I will continue to fight for the city of Detroit and the people in Detroit who need it the most, and that is the black community,” Whitsett said. “We’re the voiceless, and I don’t care who I got to go up against to do that.
“I’m a Democrat, and I plan on continuing to be a Democrat, but they will change their ways. I have my First Amendment right, and no one will take that away from me.”
It’s not unusual for there to be strife within parties, but those differences usually play out at the state or local level, said Greg Bowens, a Detroit-area Democratic political consultant and a member of the executive board for the 14th Congressional District.
"I just can't say how wonderful it is to see your face, and thank you for everything that you have done."
A Michigan Democrat is thanking @realDonaldTrump for promoting anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine.
— Kambree (@KamVTV) April 14, 2020