Democratic delegate speaks on party censuring Detroit lawmaker following COVID-19 treatment

A group called the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization censured Democratic State Representative Karen Whitsett for comments she made attacking her own party and Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The author of the resolution, Christopher McClain, spoke with Fox 2’s Hilary Golston.

McClain is a Democratic precinct delegate from Detroit. He says the Governor was not involved in the representative’s censure. McClain tells Fox 2 the censure was an independent effort.

"She has been really a real distraction between a lot of the comments that she’s made…attacking the response that our state is doing to protect people during this pandemic,” McClain said.  “She supported the operation gridlock situation… the Capitol protest in Lansing.”

McClain said the protest was counter to the health and safety of residents because many were observed violating the rules of social distancing during the protest. He also took issue with her decision to circumvent local leaders and go directly to the White House and other leaders, especially conservatives.

"I know that what she’s doing is not beneficial to us and is most likely being used by national right-wing figures,” he said.

Whitsett who was diagnosed with coronavirus took the drug hydroxychloroquine, which has not been approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19 outside of hospital settings or clinical settings due to the risk of heart rhythm problems. She claims the drug saved her life. Whitsett thanked President Donald Trump for touting the drug and making it more available. McClain points to the warnings surrounding the drug.

“She is definitely pushing unconfirmed science on a community that is particularly vulnerable and disproportionately experiencing the effects of this pandemic,” McClain said. “While I’m really grateful that the representative is healthy and I think that’s really great. I think that she has a platform and she should be really cautious about the things that she pushes on the community here in Detroit.”

The organization behind the censure is comprised of non-elected community members in the 13th congressional district. McClain said the move means the group will not be supporting her return to the state legislature.