Whitmer Apologizes after Picture Surfaces Showing Her Violating Social-Distancing Guidelines

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer addresses the media, May 20, 2020. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer apologized on Sunday after apparently violating the state’s pandemic restrictions during a gathering at a bar in East Lansing.

A photograph uploaded to social media by one of the attendees, and later deleted, showed Whitmer with over ten other people sitting around three tables that were pushed together. Current Michigan guidelines stipulate that bars and restaurants must limit table capacity to six people, and tables must be distanced by at least six feet.

Patrons vaccinated for coronavirus are still subject to the restrictions.

“Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been committed to following public health protocols,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Yesterday, I went with friends to a local restaurant. As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together. Because we were all vaccinated, we didn’t stop to think about it. In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize.”

The news comes after two senior Michigan officials traveled out of state despite Whitmer cautioning against travel amid a surge in coronavirus cases in parts of Michigan. Whitmer herself traveled to Florida earlier this year to visit her chronically ill father.

Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel went on vacation to Alabama during the April surge, Lansing-based MIRS News reported. Tricia Foster, Michigan’s Chief Operating Officer and head of the state’s vaccine rollout, traveled to Florida for spring break.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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