Michigan Governor Whitmer apologizes for violating her own COVID mandate on indoor dining

"I made a mistake, and I apologize," Whitmer said after online photos were posted of her and a dozen others together in a restaurant.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is apologizing for violating state mandates on indoor dining during the pandemic, after she was seen in online pictures seated with more than a dozen people at a restaurant.

The state's Department of Health and Human Services issued the order May 15 stating a maximum six people can be seated together at a dining establishment and that customers must be six feet apart.

Whitmer's group consisted of 13 people and appeared to sit shoulder to shoulder together. Breitbart News reported the photo Sunday.

"Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been committed to following public health protocols," Whitmer said Sunday, according to The Detroit News. "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.

Whitmer has faced sharp criticism for her handling of the pandemic. Her strict health-safety orders drew backlash about throttling the state economy. She and her husband have also attracted critics for appearing earlier during the pandemic to have violated such mandates, including the governor traveling this spring to Florida to visit her ailing father, in apparent violation of state travel restrictions. 

The photo, posted Sunday by reported friend of Whitmer, was a montage of pictures of the group that showed members sitting close together. The photos were deleted, then reposted without the governor or her aides.

"In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize," Whitmer said.