‘Our potatoes are fine:’ Virginia Gov. Northam, Trump trade jabs over hydroxychloroquine, gun control, crops

‘Our potatoes are fine:’ Virginia Gov. Northam, Trump trade jabs over hydroxychloroquine, gun control, crops

Nicholas Wu
USA TODAY

Published 2: 12 PM EDT May 19, 2020

WASHINGTON — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam responded Tuesday to President Trump’s comments accusing the governor of undermining Virginians’ Second Amendment rights and leaving a potato farmer’s crops unguarded, writing on Twitter, “our potatoes are fine.”

“I grew up on a Virginia farm, Mr. President—our potatoes are fine,” Northam, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter in response to CBS reporter Weijia Jiang’s post about Trump’s remarks. 

Earlier Tuesday, Trump had given remarks on farmers, ranchers, and the food supply chain, and had been joined by David Hickman, a Virginia vegetable grower who discussed his potato crop and other agricultural issues.

Virginia produced about $16.5 million worth of potatoes in 2018, according to the National Potato Council, a group representing potato growers. 

After Hickman finished his remarks, Trump said, “we’re going after Virginia, with your crazy governor. They want to take your Second Amendment away. You’ll have no one guarding your potatoes.” 

Trump appeared to be referring to Northam’s signing of gun control measures at the beginning of April, moves which drew condemnation from Republicans and criticism from Trump. 

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More: Virginia Gov. Northam signs host of gun control bills into law months after Richmond rally

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, also skewered Trump’s Monday comments about taking the drug hydroxychloroquine, writing, “as the only medical doctor among our nation’s governors, I suggest you stop taking hydroxychloroquine.”

The FDA has cautioned against taking the drug due to the risk of heart rhythm problems. 

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