Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer posted a video on her Twitter page using Santa Claus to spread the message of mask-wearing and social distancing — and the Democrat had an extra-special holiday message for the children gathered on the video chat.
"And another way to stay safe during the holiday is to stay home but call your grandparents and your cousins and your family," Whitmer told the tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, adding, "It's the a safest way to tell the people you love how much you care about them. This year is it has to look a little bit different so we can stay safe."
Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @GovWhitmer
What else was said on the clip?
Whitmer started things off by referring to Santa, her "special guest" on the chat, as "someone who's been really following the rules and making sure that he stays safe and the elves stay safe."
Then in what appeared to be preselected questions, the children on the video chat took turns asking Santa questions, such as "Santa, do you have to wear a mask?" and "How can we keep people safe for Christmas?"
St. Nick answered the latter query: "What I would suggest to do is what the governor is telling all the people of the great state of Michigan to do: Social distance, wash your hands, and make sure you wear your mask when you're outside your home."
As Michigan's kids gear up for the holiday season, I decided to surprise a few of them with a special guest from th… https://t.co/UUtTVMOqOl— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@Governor Gretchen Whitmer)1608132605.0
How did folks react?
Whitmer — who's drawn national attention for her strict coronavirus lockdown efforts — certainly has her critics. But she has plenty of supporters as well, so reactions to her Twitter video were a mixed bag.
Some commenters gushed with admiration:
- "Happy holidays, Governor," one user said. "Helluva job this year under extraordinary circumstances. You are everything a public servant should be. A tower of power. A leader. Compassionate. Tough. Smart as hell."
- "I don't even live in your state but you Rock," another commenter said. "Wished you were our Governor."
- "Thanks for doing something sweet for the kids this Christmas Governor Whitmer! Merry Christmas!" another user wrote. "To the conservatives that said this was a hoax and now mad their family members are dying due to COVID-19 and stuck at home, you can get coal."
But Whitmer's detractors were just as passionate in response to her Santa video for kids:
- "You doing this qualifies as child abuse," one user said.
- "That's nice since a lot of kids won't be having much of a Christmas due to your insane lockdowns," another user noted.
- "Nothing like seeing Santa on a screen while you sit home learning next to nothing with your abusive parents who've lost their jobs," another commenter said.
- "You exemplify the problem in politics/government today," another user wrote. "You believe that you are a 'class' above, and the 'regular people' have no right to question you. You are an oath breaking/ignoring traitorous bilge rat that should be removed from office and society."