Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was outed as violating her coronavirus restrictions at a bar over the weekend, as first reported by Breitbart News.
In images originally posted on Facebook, Whitmer is shown with 13 friends at a bar in East Lansing, Michigan. The governor’s chief operations officer Tricia Foster also appears in the photos. According to restaurant capacity restrictions Whitmer put in place on May 15, Michiganders are only permitted to be “separated by at least 6 feet” and “no more than 6 patrons are [to be] seated together.” All the revealing posts have since been deleted from social media.
The bar Whitmer attended is called The Landshark Bar and Grill. None of the individuals depicted in the images were wearing masks except for a business employee. Matt Seely of the Michigan Conservative Coalition told The Federalist that “the level of hypocrisy is staggering” and Whitmer has “lost all credibility.”
“It’s just insane to think about what people went through and the businesses that were damaged as a result of her policies,” Seely said. “And then to see that she never took any of them seriously and personally violated them constantly, going all the way back to taking private planes to Florida.”
Last month, it was reported that Whitmer borrowed a private jet to fly to Florida while instructing residents to remain in lockdown mode. Foster joined the governor on the trip and likewise faced scrutiny.
Whitmer was not vaccinated upon traveling to Florida on the Gulfstream G-280 twin. A report came out later indicating the governor reached out to wealthy businessmen in Detroit to fund her trip. One of the owners of the plane told Deadline Detroit that the businessmen felt pressured by the administration to accept the offer due to the power imbalance.
Michigan Rising Action, a conservative watchdog group, filed an Internal Revenue Service complaint last week alleging Whitmer improperly benefited from the money she used to fly to Florida in March. The group that paid for the flight, a nonprofit called “Michigan Transition 2019,” was launched to take care of her inauguration fees.
After weeks of denying why she went to Florida and claiming “ongoing security concerns” was why she could not disclose details of the trip, Whitmer finally caved two weeks ago. Her administration admitted she paid a mere $855 of the total flight cost of $27,521. Michigan Rising Action determines that portions of the IRS’s code present regulatory problems for the flight. The IRS states that a group “must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare” and “may not inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.”
“There is no limit to which Gretchen Whitmer and her associates would go to flaunt their blatant hypocrisy,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Preya Samsundar told The Federalist. “Michiganders are rightfully sick and tired of Whitmer’s dishonesty. It’s time for new leadership.”
Various establishments in the town where Whitmer dined have been targeted by the county’s department of health for allegedly violating her administration’s COVID orders, as East Lansing Info reported. The Democratic administration ordered some restrictions to be lifted on June 1, and all restrictions to be lifted on July 1. Her office did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment, although Whitmer released a statement soon after the publication of Breitbart’s report.
“Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been committed to following public health protocols,” Whitmer said. “Yesterday, I went with friends to a local restaurant. As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together. Because we were all vaccinated, we didn’t stop to think about it. In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize.”
Whitmer is facing ever-increasing scrutiny for her handling of the pandemic. The administration’s nursing home records were subpoenaed in early May by the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee. The lawmakers seek to “get a clearer picture of how Whitmer’s policies impacted the COVID-19 death rate in Michigan adult and long-term care facilities.” Data shows that staff and residents in nursing homes comprise 31 percent of coronavirus fatalities in the state.
Republican State Rep. Matt Maddock told The Federalist, “I just feel sorry for all the people out there that believe she has their best interest at heart that follow all her cruel jokes on us.”
“She’s been caught red-handed,” Maddock said. “What else is she lying about? Can we now assume she’s cavalier about more things she’s not coming clean on — nursing home deaths, COVID data, unnecessary lockdowns, and orders based on political science making her the center of attention?”