Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer apologized Sunday after she was seen in a photo with a dozen people at a bar — violating her own order restricting indoor dining to no more than six people at a table.
“Yesterday, I went with friends to a local restaurant. As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together,” the governor explained in a statement, according to NBC affiliate WDIV of Detroit. “Because we were all vaccinated, we didn’t stop to think about it. In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize.”
In a photo posted on social media by one of the diners, Whitmer could be seen with at least a dozen diners on Saturday at The Landshark Bar & Grill, a restaurant in East Lansing, the Detroit News reported Sunday. Whitmer’s chief operating officer Tricia Foster was also identified in the photo before it was taken down, according to the newspaper.
The restaurant outing violated the state’s May 15 order that restricted indoor dining to no more than six people at a table.
The incident was the latest in missteps for Whitmer, a Democrat, and her staff during the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Whitmer came under fire after waiting weeks to disclose details about a private jet trip she took in March to visit her ailing father in Florida. The trip was partially funded by Michigan Transition 2019, a nonprofit fund that was initially established for inauguration events.
And in April, two of her top aideswent south for spring break as residents were cautioned against traveling as Covid-19 cases surged in the state.
At least 40 percent of the state’s population has already been fully vaccinated, according to NBC News data. At the time of the photo, Whitmer, who received her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on April 29, was considered fully vaccinated.
Since the start of the pandemic, Michigan has recorded 986,435 infections and more than 20,000 deaths, according to a NBC News tally. The state last reported a spike in late March and early December when the state began to lift some of its restrictions and holiday traveling was at its peak.
Most of the state’s restrictions, including broad mask and social gathering orders, are expected to be lifted on July 1, Whitmer said last week, according to the Detroit News.