Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer seemed to suggest without evidence on Sunday that Florida was contributing to her state’s recent explosion in coronavirus cases, which comes just days after reports surfaced about one of her aides visiting the Sunshine State.
Whitmer, who made the remarks during an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” sought to deflect blame for the pandemic spiraling out of control in her state in recent weeks.
Michigan is currently “in the midst of an alarming surge that is far worse than what any other state is experiencing,” The New York Times reported last week. “The state accounts for more than 10 percent of the country’s daily cases, and is home to 16 of the 17 metro areas with the nation’s worst recent case rates.”
Whitmer partially blamed her failure to contain the pandemic in her state on losing “in a Republican-controlled Supreme Court,” which resulted in her not having “all of the exact same tools.”
“At the end of the day, this is going to come down to whether or not everyone does their part,” Whitmer said. “That’s the most important thing. This variant, the B117 variant, is what is growing so quickly here in Michigan. We have the second most of it than, I think, right after Florida, at least that was the last data that I saw.”
“Michigan and Florida are not next to each other. But this is the time in the year that snowbirds come home from Florida, where people are going on spring break, and all of these things can contribute to spread,” she claimed. “And that’s why we’re imploring people to take this seriously, mask up, get tested. If you’ve been around someone who’s positive, stay home. And if you do get COVID, use one of these monoclonal antibodies so that we can keep you out of the hospital and help you retain your health.”
Whitmer’s comments come after two of her staffers were caught allegedly traveling out of state, including one who went to Florida, after Whitmer expressed concern over variants from outside of the state, specifically Florida.
Fox News reported:
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel was in Gulf Shores, Alabama, according to the Michigan Information & Research Service. Gulf Shores is a popular resort destination along the Gulf of Mexico. …
Tricia Foster, the governor’s chief operating officer, made headlines earlier in April for vacationing in Florida even though Whitmer said she was “concerned” about travel between states. Foster posted photos to Facebook of herself vacationing in Siesta Key. After Breitbart first reported on the trip, Foster deleted the post.
Whitmer has come under intense scrutiny over her handling of the pandemic, including a recent report in The Washington Post that indicated that when Whitmer recently asked the Biden administration for more vaccine doses, Michigan “appeared not to have ordered 360,000 doses then available — a single-day snapshot that nonetheless puzzled federal officials who advised her to work with experts to make sure Michigan’s supply was being deployed effectively.”
“Instead of offering data and science to explain her past and future policies to deal with the unprecedented COVID surge, Gov. Whitmer is blaming Michiganders and refusing to take any responsibility,” Michigan GOP spokesman Ted Goodman told The Daily Wire. “Gov. Whitmer’s incompetence and incoherent lockdown strategy failed Michiganders and we are paying the price.”