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Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer is continuing to face controversy over her handling of the coronavirus pandemic after her husband reportedly sought special treatment in trying to get his boat placed on the water in an area of the state that she specifically urged people not to go to if they did not live there.
The Detroit News reported that NorthShore Dock LLC and its owner, Tad Dowker, wrote in Facebook posts late last week that Whitmer’s husband, Marc Mallory, tried to get his boat placed in the water before Memorial Day weekend in a region of the state that Whitmer specifically urged residents to not travel to if they did not live there.
“This morning, I was out working when the office called me, there was a gentleman on hold who wanted his boat in the water before the weekend,” Dowker posted on his Facebook page, according to The New York Post. “Being Memorial weekend and the fact that we started working three weeks late means there is no chance this is going to happen.”
Dowker continued, “Well our office personnel had explained this to the man and he replied, ‘I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?'”
NorthShore Dock LLC later wrote a post about the incident, saying: “We simply let him know— Sorry, we have a lot going on with very little time to get it done. We will get you in line to install as soon as we can, ALL our customers are valued and we cannot place you in front of others who scheduled earlier.”
Google maps shows that the area is nearly a 200 mile drive from the governor’s mansion in Lansing, where Whitmer and her husband live. The Detroit News noted that that the two own a property in the area where they reportedly wanted to go boating.
The company said that the post on the owner’s personal page was removed because of how viral it went, saying that it was causing more distractions at a time when they were slammed.
And the Facebook page went kaput.
The company employee should not have spilled the beans about his phone call w/Gov's husband. But they explained the situation and hopefully won't receive backlash from the incident. Everyone should be able to now enjoy the #PureMichigan water. pic.twitter.com/mAD4DopNSp
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) May 26, 2020
The incident came after Whitmer urged people during a press conference last week to not travel to the area if they did not live there [emphasis added]:
Now, this is a big step and it’s right before the holiday weekend. We know Memorial Day weekend is coming up a week from now. And so I want to encourage everyone to stay smart and to stay safe, keep your wits about you. Let’s not all go rushing out and force a closure eventually. What we want to do is keep moving forward. And so everyone needs to be a part of this and to do your part. So if you’re in Northern Michigan or the Upper Peninsula and you want to go out to eat with your family, just make sure you do everything in your power to protect yourself from the virus. That means wearing the mask, unless you are about to take part in your meal. It means washing your hands and staying six feet away from others.
And if you don’t live in these regions, region six and region eight, please think long and hard before you take a trip into them. We’re still seeing positive cases of COVID-19 across the state of Michigan. We still have COVID-19 present in the vast majority of our counties. And we’re still losing family members and loved ones to this virus.
Whitmer broke the state up into regions for reopening and region eight refers to Northern Michigan while region six refers to the Upper Peninsula.
The Detroit News noted that Whitmer’s spokesperson would not deny the allegations and said, “our practice is not to discuss the governor’s or her family’s personal calendar/schedules.”
Whitmer also faced intense backlash after her administration awarded taxpayer-funded coronavirus stimulus funds to Democrat groups, a move that she later canceled. Later, when pressed about the issue at a press conference, Whitmer had to read from notes as she refused to identify who made the decision to award the contracts to those groups.
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