Earlier this month, Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services updated its guidelines regarding eating out, mandating that patrons dining together be restricted to six people, and that groups be spaced 6 feet apart. On Saturday, a notable name violated that health order: Gretchen Whitmer, the state's governor, per the Detroit Press. A photo first reported by conservative news outlet Breitbart, posted by one of the other attendees on social media, shows Whitmer with about a dozen other unmasked diners at East Lansing's Landshark Bar & Grill, seated around at least three tables that had been pushed together. Whitmer's COO, Tricia Foster, is also in the picture, which was deleted soon after it appeared. On Sunday, the governor offered her mea culpa, admitting she should've considered the seating arrangements more carefully.
"Yesterday, I went with friends to a local restaurant," Whitmer said in a statement. "As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together." She added that, as everyone in the group had been vaccinated, no one thought anything of it. "I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize," she noted. The incident is the latest in what the Detroit Free Press calls "a series of [pandemic] missteps" for Whitmer: In May 2020, when Michigan was in strict lockdown mode, her husband called a local marina to see if his status as Whitmer's spouse could speed up getting his boat put in the water; Whitmer said his request was a bungled joke. The governor also took a private flight in March to visit her dad in Florida, while two of her top aides took out-of-state vacations this spring, per the Washington Post. "A year after the boat episode & Whitmer and those around her still don't think their Covid rules apply to them," Tori Sachs, head of the conservative nonprofit Michigan Freedom Fund, tweeted Sunday. (Read more Gretchen Whitmer stories.)