Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer believes no one should be allowed to attend large public gatherings due to COVID-19 concerns. Except, of course, herself.
On Saturday, Gov. Whitmer attended the Michigan National Guard’s annual Pass in Review ceremony. The gathering included 620 troops and about 100 spectators.
"I'm honored to be a part of this ceremony and celebrate our dedicated Michigan National Guardsmen and women," said Gov. Whitmer. "This year especially, the Michigan National Guard has responded to multiple crises with honor and dedication to help aid communities across our state.”
But four days earlier, the governor issued an executive order banning outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people. With over 700 attendees, the National Guard ceremony far exceeded the limit Whitmer established.
According to the Traverse City Record-Eagle, Whitmer’s spokesperson said the appearance “sent no mixed messages” about the governor’s stance on the virus. The outlet also reported that Whitmer’s spokesperson provided no response when asked if the executive order includes exceptions that permit gatherings of more than the stated limit for state or military personnel.
The State of Michigan had a very different response last month when Hillsdale College, a small, conservative school located in a rural area of the state, announced it would hold its graduation ceremony in-person. The event attracted approximately 2,000 people from across the country, all of whom had to abide by strict social distancing requirements and health precautions. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel deemed the gathering “illegal,” according to Detroit News, and Nessel press secretary Ryan Jarvi said organized gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited in Hillsdale County.
"Such events clearly show a lack of consideration for the dangerous threat this virus presents," Jarvi told the Detroit News.
Whitmer herself has a history of ignoring her own recommendations. In June, she joined protesters for a Black Lives Matter march despite a lack of social distancing. Just weeks earlier, she had condemned lockdown protesters who gathered at the Michigan capitol to protest her draconian stay-at-home order, saying that such demonstrations “undermine the effort” and “put others at risk.”
In another instance, Whitmer’s husband, Marc Mallory, reportedly requested that a docking company in northern Michigan place his boat in the water ahead of Memorial Day weekend, despite his wife cautioning Michigan residents against such holiday activities. When the company refused, Mallory allegedly said, "I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?” The company moved his request to the back of the waitlist. Whitmer's spokeswoman said the governor’s office wouldn't address "every rumor that is spread online."
Whitmer’s flagrant flouting of her own rules is just one reason some citizens are demanding her recall. In the meantime, however, Michiganders will be forced to follow her dictates. It’s good to be the queen.