While Michigan Was Facing Massive COVID Numbers, Here's Where Lockdown-Happy Gov. Whitmer Was Gallavanting


Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer must not like the people of her state. After all, why does she keep jetting off to warmer climes while they have to deal with COVID-19 surges, labor shortages and lockdowns — other than that she doesn’t want them with her?

According to a recent report in The Washington Free Beacon, Whitmer — best known for her lockdown-happy policies during the pandemic — attended several major fundraisers in California while her state was one of the epicenters of COVID cases.

The governor’s hypocrisy should hardly be surprising, given the high-profile out-of-state trip she took to Florida last year while she urged residents of her state to stay at home. We’ve been chronicling the two faces of Whitmer since the start of the pandemic and we’ll continue to do so. You can help us bring America the truth by subscribing.

In mid-November, when Michigan was dealing with a huge surge from the omicron variant, Whitmer was out in the Golden State raising money, the Free Beacon reported on Feb. 3.

Collin Anderson wrote that “at the time, the state led the nation in new virus cases, saw its hospitalizations nearly reach a pandemic high, and faced a shortage of rapid tests.”

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“But as Michigan struggled to deal with the surge, Whitmer was thousands of miles away in California, where she raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from a string of private fundraisers in Los Angeles and San Francisco, campaign finance disclosures show,” he noted.

This included over $78,000 in a Los Angeles event with Hollywood soap opera producer Colleen Bell, $88,650 from two events in Los Angeles and San Francisco on Nov. 17, and $56,600 from two Silicon Valley shindigs a day later.

On that day, she also dropped $600 at the luxurious Beverly Hilton, according to the report. But, hey — I guess she can afford it when her campaign managed to net more than $220,000 over three days. Pamper yourself a bit, sister!

Meanwhile, things weren’t terribly rosy at home in Michigan. WXYZ-TV reported on Nov. 17 that ambulance providers, who had been “hemorrhaging” workers, couldn’t keep up with the volume of calls in Detroit.

WXYZ’s news team “listened to hundreds of 911 calls around metro Detroit as we investigated the shortage. We often heard dispatchers tell other first responders, they simply didn’t yet have an ambulance available.”

Not that things were rosy elsewhere in the state:

But, hey, what do you expect? A woman’s got to raise funds to win an election to run a state while she, you know, runs a state.

And while a poll last month by WDIV-TV and the Detroit News found her leading potential GOP challengers, this was prior to a report from the state’s auditor general that Whitmer’s Michigan — much like her lockdown buddy Andrew Cuomo’s New York — had undercounted long-term care facility deaths by a solid 30 percent.

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If only she had a sister with a CNN show to smooth things out.

What’s worse, this wasn’t the first time Whitmer had left Michigan when it might have behooved her to stay at home.

Last April, she beseeched her state’s residents to not travel for spring break — and especially not to Florida. As per an April 3 Associated Press report, Whitmer “urged people returning from Florida [to] work from home and have their kids learn virtually for at least a week. She and health officials later recommended that people get tested after in-state, out-of-state or international travel.”

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Where did it turn out Whitmer had recently visited on board a private jet? Florida, of course.

And where did it turn out one of Whitmer’s top aides had gone on a spring break-style trip the same week she beseeched Michiganers to stay home? Yep, that’d be Florida, too.

Her spokeswoman said the governor’s trips to Florida “were very brief, two full days or less [and] closely followed public health guidelines” (not true), and Whitmer’s press secretary called her aide’s spring break-style trip to Florida “a partisan attack from a garbage white nationalist website.” (The “garbage white nationalist website” being Breitbart, and the smear not invalidating the truth of the claim one whit.)

So why doesn’t she want to spend the time with the people of her state? The ones she locked down at the beginning of the pandemic and whom she’d been urging to stay home while she was in Florida? Did she just not want to be around them? Is she getting too big for the little people whose lives she manages?

“The more reports come out, the more we uncover about Gretchen Whitmer’s priorities, which are not to keep Michiganders safe, but rather to ascend the political ladder,” Michigan Republican Party spokesman Gustavo Portela told the Free Beacon.

“Whitmer was missing in action during the most critical days of the state’s pandemic response,” he said. “It’s clear she can’t be trusted to lead the state or keep people safe from this deadly virus.”

That should have been evident from the beginning.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture