Michigan Gov. Whitmer Apologizes After Violating Social Distancing Guidelines

Isabel van Brugen
By Isabel van Brugen
May 24, 2021USshare
Michigan Gov. Whitmer Apologizes After Violating Social Distancing Guidelines
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state's Electoral College at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., on Dec. 14, 2020. (Carlos Osorio/Pool/Getty Images)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer apologized Sunday after photos emerged that appeared to show her violating social distancing guidelines mandated as part of the state’s health order while at an East Lansing restaurant.

A photo circulated on social media of Whitmer with a large group of unmasked people at the Landshark Bar & Grill, Breitbart first reported.

The photo, which showed the Democratic governor seated with roughly a dozen people at tables that had been pushed together, was posted online by an attendee, but later deleted, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Restaurants and bars in the state are able to operate with capacity limits and social distancing requirements due to the ongoing CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, as per a May 15 order from the state Department of Health and Human Services. Currently, a maximum of six people can be seated at a table, and tables must have a distance of six feet between them.

“Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been committed to following public health protocols,” Whitmer said in a statement to multiple news outlets Sunday. “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,” she added.

NTD has reached out to Whitmer for additional comment.

Whitmer, who received her second dose of COVID-19 vaccine on April 29, has said that she plans to tie the state’s reopening and lifting of restrictions to the rate at which residents get the COVID-19 vaccination jab.

The state has a goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders 16 years and older.

Whitmer has encouraged people on Twitter to sign up for their vaccine appointments and characterized the effort as a “pathway to gradually get back to normal.”

It’s not the first time the governor has defied her own state CCP virus guidelines.

Earlier this year, Whitmer traveled to Florida to visit her father despite warning residents against taking out-of-state trips.

Spokespersons for Whitmer told news outlets that the Democrat took what they described as a personal trip to visit her father about one month ago.

“Her dad was fully vaccinated and the governor is tested regularly and has never tested positive for COVID. The trip was not paid for at taxpayers’ expense,” a spokesperson said in one of the statements.

The governor has repeatedly warned against traveling out of state because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and official state guidance said that “it is safest to avoid out of state travel at this time.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fully vaccinated people can travel by plane safely but its director told Americans that they should still not do so because of the number of COVID-19 cases.

Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber and Reuters contributed to this report.

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