Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has overseen some of the nation’s toughest coronavirus-related lockdown rules. However, while the administration expects residents of Michigan to abide by the strict orders and recommendations, one of Whitmer’s high-level aides decided she was above them.
As reported by Breitbart, the governor’s chief operations officer Tricia Foster posted pictures to her Facebook account that indicated she had traveled out of state after the governor told residents to avoid spring break trips to Florida. The images showed Foster on a Florida beach alongside her teenage daughter and a group of friends.
The images have since been deleted, according to the Washington Examiner.
“A partisan attack”
An email sent to Newsweek from Whitmer’s press secretary Bobby Leddy dismissed the story as “a partisan attack” and characterized Breitbart, which broke the story, as “a garbage white nationalist website.”
The press secretary defended Foster’s travel, insisting that she “is fully recovered from COVID and fully vaccinated.”
This is not the first time someone in Whitmer’s administration has been accused of COVID-rule hypocrisy, as Whitmer herself traveled to the nation’s capital in January to attend President Biden’s inauguration only a month after urging Michigan residents “not to travel for Christmas and start figuring out how to use Zoom to stay close.”
“I am honored to attend the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and ready to begin working closely with each of them to fight this virus, save lives and put the country back on track,” Whitmer said in a press release at the time.
Whitmer accused of COVID hypocrisy
The move sparked outrage from many on the right, including Michigan Rising Action Executive Director Tori Sachs, who slammed Whitmer for taking a trip while inflicting job-killing restrictions on business owners in the state.
“If Gov. Whitmer can fly to D.C. for a celebration, then she should immediately open all of Michigan’s small businesses that remained closed due to her orders,” Sachs said in a statement.
In a separate controversy, Whitmer’s husband, Marc Mallory, made headlines last spring when Detroit News reported that he had tried to access a boat launch before Memorial Day weekend, shortly after Whitmer told residents to avoid traveling to the area for the holiday.
According to a Facebook post from NorthShore Dock LLC owner Tad Dowker, Mallory asked to have his boat launched and then tried to use his status as husband of the governor when he was refused.
Whitmer later claimed that her husband’s words should be interpreted as “a failed attempted at humor,” Fox News reported.