Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is taking a whole lot of heat after she decided to violate her own lockdown orders in order to march shoulder-to-shoulder with protesters in a march to support George Floyd who was killed at the hands of a law enforcement officer in Minneapolis.
Whitmer was photographed participating in the event, sitting side-by-side with activists who were demanding that police brutality be brought to an end. The photograph has angered many residents, along with GOP Rep. Lynn Afendoulis.
Here’s more from The Washington Examiner:
“Social distancing is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19—unless you have a great photo op. And control,” Afendoulis tweeted.
Social distancing is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19—unless you have a great photo op. And control. pic.twitter.com/uFyM6gBWaM
— Lynn Afendoulis (@LynnAfendoulis) June 4, 2020
Whitmer maintained some of the strictest social distancing guidelines in the nation throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many of which are still in effect — including a mandate to maintain 6 feet of separation in public gatherings. A spokeswoman for Whitmer, Tiffany Brown, denied the governor violated her own social distancing guidelines by attending the protests.
“The governor took precautions for engaging in an outdoor activity, including wearing a mask even though it is not required outdoors under the order,” Brown told the Detroit News. She also noted that the order included a provision that said: “Nothing in this order shall be taken to abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal constitution.”
Brown went on to add that “includes the right to peaceful protest. The state’s website has a FAQ section that says any protest requires participants to be six feet apart as per the usual social distancing guidelines.
“Persons may engage in expressive activities protected by the First Amendment within the State of Michigan but must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the person’s household,” the page states.
There were several protests held against Whitmer over her lack of a plan to reopen the economy and for the draconian measures she took that left folks unable to buy certain items from the store among other encroachments of freedom.
She condemned these protests and even lengthened the shutdown orders as punishment for them. Strangely, no such action is being taken for these protests.
“These protests, they do undermine the effort, and it’s very clearly a political statement that is playing out where people are coming together from across the state, they are congregating, they’re not wearing masks, they are not staying 6 feet apart, and then, they go back home into communities, and the risk of perpetuating the spread of COVID-19 is real,” the governor stated back in May.