Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) has admitted that she has traveled to Florida three times over the past six months to visit her sick father. This comes after she blamed people traveling for the COVID-19 spike in Michigan.
Whitmer defended her trips to Florida in an interview with The Washington Post this week, saying that her dad is currently “battling a chronic illness.”
“He’s a very private person. I feel terrible that I’ve even had to share that much, but it was certainly not spring break,” Whitmer said. “I was doing both my job as governor from a distance, and being that of a daughter who was helping out a parent who needed a little help.”
Whitmer’s dad is Richard Whitmer, is the retired president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Property records obtained by Michigan Bridge show that he owns a condominium in West Palm Beach. The trips that Whitmer made down to Florida were before she was vaccinated earlier this month.
Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) told reporters that while he does not have a problem with Whitmer visiting her ailing father, it’s clear that she went against her own travel advisories.
“If you or I did those same exact actions, this governor would scold you and say that you are the problem,” Johnson said. “The issue here today is the gross hypocrisy that comes from this administration.”
Whitmer, however, fired back by claiming that those who are attacking her for this are only doing so for political points.
“It’s maddening, because a lot of these same people would accuse me of not having family values if I didn’t show up when a family member needed some help, right?” she said. “A two-day trip. I wasn’t out partying in Miami. It’s a very different situation than what they’re portraying.”
Whitmer has become infamous among many for enacting some of the strictest coronavirus regulations in the country on her state. Despite this, Michigan has seen a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. .