Republican governors have slammed embattled Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer’s controversial flight to Florida in a new ad.
The Democratic governor waited weeks to disclose partial details of a private jet trip she took to visit her father in Florida after two of her top aides headed south as coronavirus cases surged in Michigan and residents were cautioned against traveling south for spring break.
In the latest pandemic-related misstep for Whitmer, she came under fire after apparently violating state-mandated social distancing guidelines at an East Lansing bar and grill last Saturday.
She ate out with 12 other people – despite imposing a ‘rule of six’ ordering restaurants and cafes to serve groups of no more than six diners.
That rule was dropped the day after Whitmer’s own violation of it was exposed.
The Republican Governors Association (RGA) hit out at Whitmer in their new ad, which featured a woman named Suzette from Northville, Michigan, whose father passed away during Covid-19 lockdown.
GOP governors have slammed embattled Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer’s controversial flight to Florida in a new ad
Suzette from Northville, Michigan, whose father passed away during Covid-19 lockdown
Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer waited weeks to disclose partial details of a private jet trip
Suzette was unable to visit her late father in a nursing home due to the governor’s lockdown orders.
Suzette explained during the ad: ‘When we tried to say goodbye on the day that he died, the facility called the police.
‘Whitmer ignored her own rules while the rest of us were forced to comply,’ she continued. ‘Gretchen Whitmer failed Michigan, failed me, and failed my father.’
‘She doesn’t deserve to lead this state any longer.’
In a statement, RGA spokesman Chris Gustafson slammed Whitmer’s perceived hypocrisy. ‘While Michiganders complied with Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions, the governor has been bar-hopping across Michigan and jet-setting to the Sunshine State,’ he said.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (fourth from left) was pictured Saturday, May 22, 2021 among a party of 13 at the Landshark Bar & Grill in East Lansing
For months, Whitmer’s health department has prohibited bar and restaurants from having more than six people seated at a table together. The governor apologized Sunday for appearing to violate the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ epidemic order
An exterior image of the Landshark Bar and Grill in East Lansing, Michigan
‘Whitmer’s rampant hypocrisy knows no bounds and leaves Michiganders with no choice but to Fire the Damn Governor.’
A photo circulated on social media on Sunday of Whitmer with a large group of unmasked people at an East Lansing bar-restaurant, The Landshark Bar & Grill.
The photo, which shows Whitmer seated with about a dozen people, was posted on social media by one of the attendees who was a friend of the governor, but was later deleted.
‘Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been committed to following public health protocols,’ Whitmer said in a statement 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.’
Michigan restaurants and bars were subject to capacity limits and social distancing requirements at the time of the gaffe.
As well as the rule of six, tables were also ordered to be kept six feet apart.
The Governor released a statement apologizing for her actions
Whitmer, a Democrat, also faced criticism from Republicans after she traveled to Florida in March before being vaccinated to visit her ailing elderly father.
‘Gov. Whitmer continues to defy her own COVID rules while her administration punishes and fines others for not adhering to her strict orders,’ said Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund, a conservative political organization.
‘Whitmer has proven time and again that she doesn’t follow the rules she imposes.’
Last week, Whitmer announced all of the remaining mask-wearing and social distancing restrictions would be lifted on July 1, regardless of whether a person had been vaccinated or not.
Whitmer came in for some strong criticism on Twitter as a result of being pictured at the bar
COVID restrictions for bars, restaurants and workplaces are also expected to be lessoned come June.
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced fully-vaccinated Americans could finally stop wearing their masks almost anywhere – indoors or outdoors.
Those who have finished their shot regimen can now go out to eat, see a movie, shake hands and give hugs at will, according to the new guidance.
The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but could ease restrictions for reopening workplaces and schools. People who are fully vaccinated but immunocompromised people may still be advised by their doctors to keep masking.
However, the CDC’s recommendation is just that – an unenforceable recommendation. States, cities and businesses can still require masks.