Michigan Gov. Whitmer is latest Dem caught in the act of COVID-19 rule hypocrisy

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is just the latest Democrat facing backlash for flouting social distancing as she urges the public to follow her state’s coronavirus guidelines.

Whitmer apologized Sunday after a photo emerged that appeared to show her disregarding social distancing guidelines at a bar. The picture showed the governor with a large group at The Landshark Bar & Grill in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer appeared to be with a dozen people with tables pushed together. However, the state still requires social distancing at restaurants, with six people at tables.


The group was unmasked, and there seemed to be no social distancing.

“It was an honest mistake, and I have apologized for it,” Whitmer said at a press conference Monday. “I think that we have specifically not gone forward and penalized businesses trying to do the right thing. It’s those that have flouted and put people’s safety at risk that is the most concerning. I don’t know that there’s a lot more for me to add at this point in time, other than those former Spartans … who know the establishment should be aware that it’s now a restaurant, and they have pretty good pizza.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in October 2020 in Detroit. (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“We’re hoping that people can understand when you’re indoors. It’s inherently a little bit riskier, especially if you’re not vaccinated,” Whitmer said earlier in the press conference. “July 1, we will be back to normal, and that’s a good thing.”

Here are other Democratic politicians who have been accused of hypocrisy regarding their own coronavirus rules:

Gov. Gavin Newsom

Perhaps the best example of Democratic politicians facing backlash for appearing to flout coronavirus guidelines is California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The governor is now facing a recall after photos surfaced of him socializing without a mask at a posh restaurant in wine country north of San Francisco.

Newsom came under fire after violating at least two of California’s coronavirus rules by attending a 12-person birthday party at the French Laundry restaurant in November 2020 – after urging Californians to only interact with members of their own household. Newsom acknowledged he attended a birthday party with a dozen friends on November 6.


“While our family followed the restaurant’s health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner,” he said in a statement.

At the time, Newsom and state and local health officials urged people to stay within their own households.

First reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, the dinner included 12 people at the famed restaurant in Napa County. It was in celebration of the 50th birthday of Jason Kinney, a Newsom friend, and political adviser. Newsom’s wife also attended.

Newsom apologized after he received backlash over the party, saying he made a “bad mistake.”

“I should have stood up and … drove back to my house…The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted,” he said. “I need to preach and practice, not just preach.”

Climate Envoy John Kerry

John Kerry, a member of the Biden administration, was caught not wearing a mask while on a flight to Washington, D.C., from Boston. Republicans were quick to mock the former Democratic presidential nominee.

“Feels like there’s some St. Patrick’s day ‘malarkey’ afoot on Twitter,” Kerry wrote on Twitter on March 17. “Let’s be clear: If I dropped my mask to one ear on a flight, it was momentary. I wear my mask because it saves lives and stops the spread. It’s what the science tells us to do.”

Mayor Michael Hancock 

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock apologized to critics who pointed to his 2020 holiday travel plans visiting his family in Mississippi as hypocritical after he advised Coloradans to hold “virtual gatherings” in light of the pandemic.

Hancock came under fire after reports surfaced that he boarded a flight to Houston before heading to Mississippi to visit his wife and daughter.

“I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone,” Hancock said in a statement. “As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel.”

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” he added.

The Associated Press and Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche, Brie Stimson, Kayla Rivas, Caitlin McFall, Joshua Q. Nelson and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

Tyson Houlding
Tyson Houlding is a 28-year-old associate at a law firm who enjoys walking, writing, and learning new languages. He is creative and bright, but can also be very unfriendly and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian who defines himself as straight. He has a post-graduate degree in law.