Spokespersons for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told news outlets that the Democrat took what they defined as a personal trip to visit her father roughly one month ago.
“Her dad was fully vaccinated and the governor is tested regularly and has never tested positive for COVID. The trip was not paid for at taxpayers’ expense,” a spokesperson revealed in one of the statements.
Whitmer announced throughout a recent briefing that her father is in the state of Florida.
The governor has repeatedly cautioned against traveling out of state because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the official state direction said that “it is safest to avoid out of state travel at this time.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says completely vaccinated people can travel by plane safely, though its director told Americans that they should still not do so because of the number of COVID-19 cases.
While Whitmer’s father is completely vaccinated, Whitmer actually is not. She received her first jab earlier this month, with a second scheduled soon.
“Michigan and Florida are not next to each other,” Whitmer announced throughout a recent appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But this is the time of the year that snowbirds come home from Florida, where people are going on spring break, and all of these things can contribute to spread. That’s why we’re imploring people to take this seriously, mask up, get tested.”
She further told a briefing on April 2 that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Michigan was somewhat because of people going to Florida for spring break.
In one of the remarks on Monday, a spokesperson announced the governor “did not go on spring break.” Whitmer has left the state three times in the past three months, once for the visit to her father, once to attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration, and once to visit with Michigan’s National Guard troops.
“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. Due to ongoing security concerns, we will not comment further on the governor’s personal schedule,” the spokesperson stated.
News of Whitmer’s Florida trip drew sharp criticism.
“Gretchen Whitmer’s hypocrisy flies in the face of every Michigander who has persevered through Whitmer’s disgraceful response to COVID-19,” stated Republican Governors Association spokesperson Chris Gustafson. “While telling Michiganders not to travel, Whitmer flew down to Florida and proved once again that the rules to her or her family don’t apply. It’s time for Gretchen Whitmer to go.”
Two top Michigan officials further traveled out-of-state recently. Michigan Health Director Elizabeth Hertel went to Alabama for spring break, while Tricia Foster, a Whitmer aide, went to Florida for the same purpose.
Asked regarding those trips last week, Whitmer announced she would not “get distracted by partisan hit jobs on my team.”