Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer apologized in late May 2021 after a photograph showing her crowded at a table with a dozen other people at a restaurant, in violation of statewide rules she put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 went viral.
Whitmer apologized in a statement sent to multiple news media outlets on May 23, 2021. The Detroit News quoted her statement saying:
Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been committed to following public health protocols. 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 was visiting the Landshark Bar & Grill in East Lansing, according to news reports. The image posted by Breitbart and other outlets doesn't show the faces of the other people in her group, except that of Michigan Chief Operating Officer Tricia Foster, sitting a few seats from Whitmer's left.
Statewide guidelines in Michigan issued on May 15 limit diners to six people per table.
On May 24, Whitmer's administration rescinded the six-person per table limit. The Associated Press reported that Whitmer had previously announced imminent easing of COVID-19 restrictions starting on June 1.
Whitmer isn't the only high-profile governor who violated the COVID-19 restrictions they themselves put in place. California Governor Gavin Newsom was widely criticized when a photograph showed him maskless while visiting a Napa Valley restaurant called French Laundry with lobbyists during the height of the pandemic in November 2020.