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Whitmer’s office confirms out-of-state trip during COVID

Gretchen Whitmer

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office has confirmed she traveled out of state more than a month ago to visit her father. This was before the governor was vaccinated against COVID-19.

A statement says: “The past six months, she has left the state three times, once for the (Presidential) inauguration, once to assist her elderly father who is battling a chronic illness, and once to visit with Michigan’s National Guard troops. All trips were very brief, two days or less, closely followed public health guidelines and were made when Michigan’s daily positivity rates were in the single digits.”

As of Monday, Michigan’s statewide COVID-19 test positivity rate was nearly 14 percent.

The governor’s office offered few other details, citing security concerns. The statement also says her father was vaccinated, and that the governor is regularly checked and has never tested positive for COVID.

This comes as other out-of-state trips by top Whitmer administration officials have recently come to light. That’s despite the governor and health authorities urging people to avoid travel during the pandemic. It’s also drawn harsh criticism from Republicans, who’ve fought with the governor over restrictions.

“I understand the desire to visit an ill relative, and I hope for good health for the governor’s family – but I have heard countless stories of heartbroken Michiganders who wanted to visit sick family members during this pandemic and haven’t been able to do so,” said Representative Thomas Albert (R-Lowell), who chairs the House Appropriations Committee. “I don’t understand how the governor thinks it’s OK for her and members of her administration to travel out of state while issuing recommendations to the rest of us that we stay home.”

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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