Fact Check

Did Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Violate Her Own COVID-19 Restrictions?

Whitmer apologized, saying, "I am human."

Published May 24, 2021

 (Breitbart Twitter)
Image Via Breitbart Twitter
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer violated her own COVID-19 restrictions by visiting a bar and sitting at a table with a group of a dozen people.

Snopes is still fighting an “infodemic” of rumors and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and you can help. Find out what we've learned and how to inoculate yourself against COVID-19 misinformation. Read the latest fact checks about the vaccines. Submit any questionable rumors and “advice” you encounter. Become a Founding Member to help us hire more fact-checkers. And, please, follow the CDC or WHO for guidance on protecting your community from the disease.

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.

The image was posted to Facebook and published by the right-leaning website Breitbart.

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On May 24, Whitmer's administration rescinded the six-person per table limit.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.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

Article Tags