Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) complained to the Washington Post on Tuesday that criticisms of her travel to Florida some have called hypocritical are “maddening.”
It was revealed Monday that Whitmer traveled to Florida “about a month ago,” just weeks before she urged Michiganders not to travel to the state for spring break.
Her communications department initially acknowledged the destination was Florida, then backtracked and refused confirm the location.
Richard Whitmer, the governor’s father, owns a property in West Palm Beach, according to tax records.
“It was certainly not spring break,” she said, the Detroit News reported. “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.”
According to the Michigan Constitution, the lieutenant governor acts as governor when the sitting governor is “absent from the state.”
“It’s maddening,” Whitmer said of the criticism and allegations of hypocrisy, adding, “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.”
Whitmer did not detail the “help” only she could provide.
On Monday, MIRS News reported:
While Communications Director Tiffany Brown wouldn’t say where the Democratic governor traveled, a source tells MIRS that Whitmer’s father, Richard Whitmer, has a home in Florida.
“Her dad was fully vaccinated, and the governor is tested regularly and has never tested positive for COVID,” Brown told MIRS, noting the governor traveled at her own expense and that utilized no state resources. …
Brown said Gov. Whitmer wasn’t on spring break but was assisting “her elderly father who is battling a chronic illness.”
That came on the heels of two senior advisers, including one issuing numerous public health orders — Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel — traveling to warmer states, ignoring Whitmer’s instructions for state residents.
Breitbart News was the first to report state Chief Operations Officer Tricia Foster vacationed in Siesta Key, Florida with a group of young people who were not yet eligible for the vaccine.
Whitmer dismissed the story as a “partisan hit job.” Her office did not dispute the facts.
Whitmer press secretary Bobby Leddy defended the governor’s “personal trip” to Florida, saying the plan was made when Michigan’s daily coronavirus positivity rate “was in the low single digits,” according to the Detroit News.