Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office is responding to a report that she recently traveled out of state to vacation in Florida, but her office says she defied the recommendations she urges her constituents to abide to visit her ill father.
Michigan’s Republican Party said in a Monday press release that Whitmer’s travel to Florida contradicts 14 months of her administration’s shutdown orders, lockdowns, and calls for Michiganders to stay home to stay safe.
“Gretchen Whitmer’s blatant display of hypocrisy is an insult to every single Michigander impacted by her lockdown orders and travel warnings,” said Ted Goodman, communications director of the Michigan Republican Party. “Not only did Whitmer and her top staffers vacation to Florida, but they tried to keep it a secret because for Whitmer, it’s rules for thee, but not for me.”
Less than two weeks ago, Whitmer urged a two-week suspension of in-person high school classes, all youth sports and indoor restaurant dining, but didn’t impose it by executive fiat. Instead, she asked for voluntary compliance.
Just as Whitmer said schools should pause, indoor dining should be suspended and individuals should avoid gathering with friends indoors to mitigate the rise in new cases, her top aide Tricia Foster decided to spring break in Florida.
The news of Whitmer’s travel also comes just a week after it was reported that Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel — her top health official, who leads the state’s COVID-19 response — spent spring break in Gulf Shores, Alabama, Michigan Republican Party’s release reads.
Whitmer’s Press Secretary Bobby Leddy told Detroit’s Local 4 News that she left the state three times — once to assist her father who is battling a chronic illness. She also traveled to Washington D.C. for President Joe Biden’s inauguration and once to visit with Michigan National Guard troops.
“The governor did not go on spring break, and she has not left the state in over a month,” Leddy said. “All trips were very brief, two full days or less, closely followed public health guidelines, and were made when Michigan’s daily positivity rate was in the low single digits.”
Sources told Local 4 the trip to see her father was not paid for by taxpayer dollars, and officially, her office said it “will not be commenting further on her schedule due to security issues.”
Michigan House Appropriations Chair Thomas Albert said in a statement that there are two sets of rules in Michigan — one for the governor and her administration and one for everyone else. “The governor’s ‘do as I say, not as I do’ nonsense must stop,” he said, per Local 4 News.
“I understand the desire to visit an ill relative, and I hope for good health for the governor’s family – 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,” Albert said.
“I don’t understand how the governor thinks it’s 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. How can anyone be expected to follow such guidance when the governor and her staff doesn’t follow it themselves?Michigan House Appropriations Chair Thomas Albert
“It’s crystal clear now. If you want to enjoy your full rights and freedoms during the COVID pandemic, the key is to join the Whitmer administration.”