During Michigan’s Covid-19 boom, Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer took a trip to Florida while urging Michiganders to stay home and stop traveling. Furthermore, she wasn’t vaccinated.
Whitmer’s spokesman, Bobby Leddy, said in a statement that Whitmer had left Michigan three times in the previous six months, including once to “assist her elderly father who is battling a chronic illness,” reports BridgeMichigan.
The other two trips, which included attending President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January and visiting Michigan National Guard troops in Washington, D.C. last month, had already been made public.
Whitmer, who received her first vaccine shot on April 6, was not vaccinated when she went to see her father but is regularly tested for COVID-19. Richard Whitmer, 81, was completely vaccinated. He is the former president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Leddy said that Whitmer did not go on spring break, she has not left the state in over a month, and all of the trips were very short, two days or less, and were taken while Michigan’s daily positivity rate was in the low single digits.
Whitmer was already facing questions over travel at that time when the Michigan GOP also said that Whitmer’s top staffers secretly traveled.
Trish Foster, Whitmer’s Chief Operating Officer, broke her own rules and recommendations by traveling to Florida with her relatives, where they were photographed without masks or social distancing.
Whitmer’s newly named HHS Director Elizabeth Hertel also flew to the free state of Alabama for a holiday with her family shortly after the news about Foster broke.
Whitmer’s administration has also emphasized that Foster was completely vaccinated while Hertel had only received one of two doses.
Governor Whitmer responded to the report about her HHS Director heading south when the state of Michigan was experiencing a huge surge in COVID cases by saying, “I am not going to get distracted by partisan hit jobs on my team,” adding, “There have never been travel restrictions in Michigan. What directors do on their personal time is their business so long as they are safe, which is what we’re asking everyone in the state to do.”
Whitmer’s trip to Florida runs counter to her administration’s 14-month shutdown directives, lockdowns, and demands for Michigan residents to stay home for their own safety.
Whitmer has spoken out about how travel between Florida and Michigan will spread the virus on at least two occasions in the last month.
During an appearance on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Whitmer said that snowbirds and spring breakers traveling to and from Florida “might add to the spread.”
Communications Director of the Michigan Republican Party, Ted Goodman, said that Gretchen Whitmer’s hypocrisy is an insult to any Michigander who has been affected by her lockout orders and travel advisories.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Thomas Albert, a Lowell Republican, said he understands the desire to visit an ill relative.
“But I have heard countless stories of heartbroken Michiganders who wanted to visit sick family members during this pandemic and haven’t been able to do so,” he said. “I do not understand how the government thinks it is OK for her and members of her administration to travel out of state while issuing recommendations to the rest of us that we stay home.”
The most recent COVID outbreak in Michigan occurred early to mid-March when cases increased from nearly 1,500 per day on March 5 to 3,730 on March 19. With a positivity rate of 12 percent, Michigan became the state with the highest positivity rate in the country on March 29. On Friday, the number of cases had surpassed 9,000.
It is safer, according to the state, to stop out-of-state travel. If this is not possible, residents should be completely vaccinated. If this is not possible, screened three to five days after returning and put under self-quarantine for seven days, even if the result is negative.