Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an apology on Sunday after a photo surfaced on social media of her at a restaurant seated together at tables that had been pushed together with at least 12 friends breaking the state’s public health protocols.
The photo, initially posted on Facebook, was picked up by Breitbart, which reported the photo has now been removed from social media.
“Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been committed to following public health protocols. On Saturday, I went with friends to a local restaurant. As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together. Because we were all vaccinated, we didn’t stop to think about it,” Whitmer said in a statement. “In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize.”
Some more context: On May 15, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a health order stating “gatherings are prohibited at food service establishments, whether indoor or outdoor, unless: consumption of food or beverages is permitted only in a designated dining area where patrons are seated, groups of patrons are separated by at least 6 feet, no more than 6 patrons are seated together (at a table, booth, or group of fixed seats), and groups of patrons do not intermingle.”
On May 20, Whitmer announced the “MI Vacc to Normal” plan, which lifts capacity limits for outdoor events and increases indoor capacity limits to 50% on June 1 and states that on July 1 capacity limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings will be lifted.
Over the last week, Whitmer has eased several restrictions on gatherings, capacities, and face masks.