Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) earned the ire of Republicans and even President Donald Trump earlier this year for her strict measures meant to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. But while the Democrat governor is still advocating for social distancing amid widespread protests over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody last week, she apparently feels those rules don’t apply to her.
According to Breitbart, Whitmer urged Michiganders who are taking the streets in protest of Floyd’s death to “wear a mask” and “stay six feet away from others” during their demonstrations in an interview Thursday morning. By that afternoon, however, the governor was seen on video “standing shoulder-to-shoulder” with hundreds of fellow protesters, Breitbart reported, in yet another blatant display of the kind of hypocrisy Trump has regularly criticized her for.
Do as I say…
“I encourage everyone who is protesting, if you are out demonstrating or out congregating at all, please wear a mask and please try to stay six feet away from others,” Whitmer said on a local radio show Thursday, according to Breitbart.
But while the governor abided by her own admonition to wear a mask, she clearly missed the other half of her statement.
According to Breitbart, she was caught in numerous photos and videos standing and kneeling only inches away from others, some of whom wore masks while others had no masks at all. In fact, one of Whitmer’s own political consultants even tweeted out a photo featuring the governor standing in the middle of the packed crowd of protesters.
“We know that we are at a tipping point in this march toward justice. But this day can’t just be a day. It must be a step forward in this march toward justice.” – @GovWhitmer pic.twitter.com/jv0qE6d7S8
— Chris Meagher (@chrismeagher) June 4, 2020
…Not as I do
Whitmer had previously faced backlash after her husband was reported to have violated her own COVID-19 lockdown measures, which, according to Business Insider, included barring businesses from selling “non-essential” goods, like furniture and gardening supplies, and prohibiting Michiganders from traveling between residences — including to go to their own vacation homes, as The Hill noted. Even President Trump chimed in to note the Democrat’s double standard:
Yet she doesn’t let people even breath in Michigan. A very bad double standard! https://t.co/A60YxvWFGv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2020
Whitmer’s restrictive measures have since been eased as the state continues reopening in the wake of the pandemic, but it seems her hypocrisy hasn’t. It was so egregious this week, in fact, that even The Detroit News felt compelled to call the governor out, noting her staunch opposition to prior protests in light of the virus.
Asked about the disparity, the governor’s spokeswoman, Tiffany Brown, told The Detriot News that neither Whitmer nor anyone else protesting had violated the statewide prohibition against mass gatherings, suggesting there was an exception written into the orders for peaceful protests and other rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. The Detroit News noted, however, that an FAQ page on Whitmer’s order specifically addresses this topic:
Persons may engage in expressive activities protected by the First Amendment within the State of Michigan but must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the person’s household.
Michigan state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis, a Republican, also highlighted Whitmer’s hypocrisy in a tweet Thursday.
Social distancing is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19—unless you have a great photo op. And control. pic.twitter.com/uFyM6gBWaM
— Rep. Lynn Afendoulis (@LynnAfendoulis) June 4, 2020
If it wasn’t already apparent that Gov. Whitmer is just another hypocritical hack of a pandering partisan politician, it is glaringly obvious now.