Michigan Gov. Whitmer Blasted for Florida Trip Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D-Mich., talks about the statewide COVID-19 vaccination effort during a press conference in Ypsilanti, Mich., on April 12, 2021. (Lon Horwedel/Detroit News via AP, File)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 20 April 2021 11:16 AM
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer went to Florida to visit her father around the same time the Michigan Democrat was warning the public against taking trips to the Sunshine State.
The Michigan Republican Party revealed that the trip occurred in a series of tweets on Monday.
"@GovWhitmer vacationed to Florida during Michigan’s COVID-19 surge, despite telling Michiganders to stay home and avoid travel," the Michigan GOP account tweeted. "Whitmer specifically targeted Florida in April 2 comments where she warned against travel to the sunshine state during Spring Break.
"Whitmer has long advocated for onerous lockdowns, shutdowns and travel warnings that have destroyed small businesses, kept kids out of schools, ruined livelihoods, and led to record levels of drug and alcohol abuse – yet she refuses to make the same sacrifices."
Whitmer's Communications director Tiffany Brown confirmed to the MIRS news site that the governor traveled out of state on a "personal trip" about a month ago to visit her ailing dad.
Brown said Whitmer's father is battling a chronic illness and has a home in Florida. She said he is vaccinated against COVID-19 and noted the trip was not paid for by taxpayers.
"The governor did not go on spring break, and she has not left the state in over a month," Brown said in a statement. "In the past six months she has left the state three times, once for the inauguration, once to assist her elderly father who is battling a chronic illness, 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."
Republicans blasted the governor for taking the trip while her state remained under COVID restrictions.
Chris Gustafson, a spokesman for the Republican Governors Association, said: "Whitmer's rampant hypocrisy continues to insult hard-working Michiganders who struggle to get past her disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Ted Goodman, communications director of the Michigan Republican Party, slammed Whitmer's trip as "an insult to every single Michigander impacted by her lockdown orders and travel warnings," according to Fox2.
Goodman also blasted a Whitmer aide who was recently reported to have vacationed in Florida.
"Not only did Whitmer and her top staffers vacation to Florida, but they tried to keep it a secret because for Whitmer, it's — rules for thee, but not for me," Goodman said.
Last week, Whitmer said the criticism against her was simply partisan politics.
"I'm not going to get distracted by partisan hit jobs on my team," she said. "So, what directors do on their personal time is their business, so long as they are safe, which is what we're asking everyone in the state to do."