Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer apologizes for violating her own state-mandated social distancing guidelines after she was pictured sitting maskless with 12 other people inside a bar

 Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer apologized Sunday after apparently violating state-mandated social distancing guidelines at an East Lansing bar and grill.

It was the latest pandemic-related misstep for the Democratic governor, who waited weeks to disclose partial details of a private jet trip she took to visit her father in Florida after two of her top aides headed south as coronavirus cases surged in Michigan and residents were cautioned against traveling south for spring break.

A photo circulated on social media of Whitmer with a large group of unmasked people at an East Lansing bar-restaurant, The Landshark Bar & Grill. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (fourth from left) was pictured Saturday, May 22, 2021 among a party of 13 at the Landshark Bar & Grill in East Lansing

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (fourth from left) was pictured Saturday, May 22, 2021 among a party of 13 at the Landshark Bar & Grill in East Lansing

For months, Whitmer's health department has prohibited bar and restaurants from having more than six people seated at a table together. The governor apologized Sunday for appearing to violate the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' epidemic order

For months, Whitmer's health department has prohibited bar and restaurants from having more than six people seated at a table together. The governor apologized Sunday for appearing to violate the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' epidemic order

An exterior imagesof the Landshark Bar and Grill in East Lansing, Michigan

An exterior imagesof the Landshark Bar and Grill in East Lansing, Michigan


The photo, which shows Whitmer seated with about a dozen people, was posted on social media by one of the attendees who was a friend of the governor, but was later deleted.

'Throughout the pandemic, I´ve been committed to following public health protocols,' Whitmer said in a statement Sunday. 

'Yesterday, 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. In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize.' 


Michigan restaurants and bars remain subject to capacity limits and social distancing requirements. 

Current orders require six people or fewer at tables and distances of 6 feet between tables.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says 'consumption of food or beverages is permitted only where patrons are seated, groups of patrons are separated by at least 6 feet, no more than 6 patrons are seated at a table, and groups of patrons do not intermingle.' 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an apology after she was pictured violating the state’s gathering and mask order

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an apology after she was pictured violating the state’s gathering and mask order 

The Governor released a statement apologizing for her actions

The Governor released a statement apologizing for her actions 

Whitmer, a Democrat, also faced criticism from Republicans after she traveled to Florida in March before being vaccinated to visit her ailing elderly father.

'Gov. Whitmer continues to defy her own COVID rules while her administration punishes and fines others for not adhering to her strict orders,' said Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund, a conservative political organization. 

'Whitmer has proven time and again that she doesn't follow the rules she imposes.' 

Last week, Whitmer announced all of the remaining mask-wearing and social distancing restrictions would be lifted on July 1, regardless of whether a person had been vaccinated or not.

Whitmer came in for some strong criticism on Twitter as a result of being pictured at the bar

Whitmer came in for some strong criticism on Twitter as a result of being pictured at the bar

COVID restrictions for bars, restaurants and workplaces are also expected to be lessoned come June.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced fully-vaccinated Americans could finally stop wearing their masks almost anywhere - indoors or outdoors.

Those who have finished their shot regimen can now go out to eat, see a movie, shake hands and give hugs at will, according to the new guidance.

The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but could ease restrictions for reopening workplaces and schools. People who are fully vaccinated but immunocompromised people may still be advised by their doctors to keep masking.

However, the CDC's recommendation is just that - an unenforceable recommendation. States, cities and businesses can still require masks. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom is shown above, left, sitting with ten others in the indoor/outdoor dining room at The French Laundry on last November without a mask. The photos were obtained by Fox 11 LA via a Twitter user

California Governor Gavin Newsom is shown above, left, sitting with ten others in the indoor/outdoor dining room at The French Laundry on last November without a mask. The photos were obtained by Fox 11 LA via a Twitter user

Newsom (pictured during a lockdown announcement) was sitting in a private room with a glass door which was closed at one point because the group was being loud. He quickly apologized for the 'bad mistake'

Newsom (pictured during a lockdown announcement) was sitting in a private room with a glass door which was closed at one point because the group was being loud. He quickly apologized for the 'bad mistake'

Whitmer, who received her second vaccination dose April 29, is considered fully vaccinated but she is not the first public official to draw criticism for defying pandemic-related rules.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who won plaudits for issuing the first statewide stay-at-home order in the U.S. back in March, 2020, later drew criticism after he broke the state rules. 

Newsom and his wife were caught dining with 10 others at the posh French Laundry restaurant in Napa in early November with lobbyists and others from numerous different households, sitting close together, mask-less.

Newsom quickly apologized, saying he 'made a bad mistake' but noting the gathering was outdoors. 

Within days, photos emerged showing the group in a room that was enclosed on three sides with a sliding glass door on the other, maybe meeting the technical definition of outdoors, but perhaps not the spirit.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer apologizes for violating her own state-mandated social distancing guidelines after she was pictured sitting maskless with 12 other people inside a bar Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer apologizes for violating her own state-mandated social distancing guidelines after she was pictured sitting maskless with 12 other people inside a bar Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:46 Rating: 5

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