Trump Says Some Governors Have 'Gone Too Far' in Imposing Coronavirus Restrictions

President Donald Trump on Sunday expressed his belief that some U.S. governors have taken coronavirus restrictions too far in their states, despite health officials' warnings of a second wave of the disease if social distancing measures are lifted prematurely.

Trump on Sunday discussed the protesters that took to the streets in some states this week — including Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota — to demand an end to the stay-at-home measures that have been implemented by governors to curb the spread of COVID-19. The president sympathized with the protesters' concerns and declined to denounce their demonstrations during the White House Coronavirus Task Force news conference.

"Some have gone too far, some governors have gone too far. Some of the things that happened are maybe not so appropriate," Trump said. "And I think in the end it's not going to matter because we're starting to open up our states, and I think they're going to open up very well."

Some protesters were seen wearing Make America Great Again apparel and holding pro-Trump signs as they called for coronavirus measures to be relaxed and wider freedoms amid the pandemic. During their demonstrations, many did not adhere to the White House's social distancing guidelines that advised against gatherings of 10 or more people to limit the virus' spread.

"As far as protesters, you know, I see protesters for all sorts of things," the president said. "And I'm with everybody. I'm with everybody."

Trump initially did not name the states that, in his view, have gone too far with their coronavirus restrictions, but he later suggested that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam may have implemented unnecessary measures. Both Whitmer and Northam are Democratic governors.

"If you take Michigan, there were things in Michigan that I don't think were necessary or appropriate, everyone knows that," the president said. "I think the governor of Michigan — we're getting along very well — but I think the governor of Michigan probably knows that."

Newsweek reached out to the offices of Whitmer and Northam for comment.

Trump has faced criticism from Democratic and Republican governors over a series of tweets he posted on Friday that appeared to be in support of the protesters in Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia.

"LIBERATE MINNESOTA!" Trump wrote in one tweet. "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" he said in another. "LIBERATE VIRGINIA! and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!" he wrote in a third.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) told CNN that Trump's encouragement of the demonstrations was not "helpful." Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) told ABC News that the president's "unhinged rantings and calls for people to 'liberate' states could also lead to violence."

U.S. President Donald Trump takes questions at the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis/Getty