Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reportedly traveled out of the state to visit her sick father over a month ago.
It was originally speculated that Whitmer visited her father in Florida, but the governor’s office refused to confirm or deny such reports, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.
Tiffany Brown, a spokeswoman for Whitmer, cited “security concerns” as the reason she was unable to confirm. However, Brown noted that Whitmer had made the visit when cases were lower in the state and that the trip was not funded by taxpayer dollars, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Whitmer appeared on “Meet the Press” Sunday to discourage Michigan residents from traveling outside the state due to rising COVID-19 cases in Michigan, Fox News reported.
She identified the B117 variant, also known as the U.K. strain, as surging in the state, Fox News reported. The strain is the most common variant in the U.S. as of early April, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“At the end of the day, this is going to come down to whether or not everyone does their part,” Whitmer said on “Meet the Press.” “That’s the most important thing. This variant, the B117 variant, is what is growing so quickly in Michigan. We have the second most, I think, after Florida.”
“Michigan and Florida are not next to each other. But this is the time of the year that snow birds 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 said.
Criticism continues to mount against Whitmer after it was revealed that, despite the warning not to travel, several aides had done so. Tricia Foster, Whitmer’s chief executive officer, traveled to Florida for spring break with her daughter, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services director, Elizabeth Hertel, traveled to a popular resort area along the Gulf Coast earlier in the month, according to the Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS).
Whitmer defended Hertel on a podcast Monday.
“We’ve never had any travel restrictions in Michigan, and I’ve just encouraged people that if they travel to be safe, mask up, get vaccinated,” Whitmer said, according to MIRS. “We all need to show one another a little bit of grace. We’re all eager to get out.” (RELATED: Whitmer’s Health Director Reportedly Vacationed As Michigan’s Coronavirus Cases Surged)
Yesterday MI Governor Gretchen Whitmer blamed MI being the one state with a critical COVID-19 situation on people traveling from Florida.
Today it was discovered she likely traveled to Florida a month ago to visit her father. pic.twitter.com/VdK5FgHlF4
— AG (@AGHamilton29) April 19, 2021
“Whitmer’s rampant hypocrisy continues to insult hard-working Michiganders who struggle to get past her disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chis Gustafson, a spokesman for the Republican Governors Association, according to the Detroit Free Press.