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Michigan Gov. Whitmer faces backlash for visiting elderly father in Florida during pandemic

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, (D-Michigan), visited Florida more than a month ago despite blaming travelers for the new COVID variants in Michigan.

Whitmer’s trip came weeks after she warned the public against spring break trips, specifically to Florida.

Tiffany Brown, a spokesperson for Whitmer, said the Michigan governor traveled to Florida to visit her father who is fighting a chronic illness.

“The governor did not go on spring break, and she has not left the state in over a month,” Brown said in a statement. “In the past six months she has left the state three times, once for the inauguration, once to assist her elderly father who is battling chronic illness, and once to visit Michigan’s National Guard troops.”

Whitmer’s father “was fully vaccinated and the governor,” who was not vaccinated at the time, “is tested regularly and has never tested positive for COVID,” Brown said. “The trip was not paid for at taxpayers’ expense.”

Ted Goodman, the communications director of the state’s Republican Party, said Whitmer’s “blatant display of hypocrisy is an insult to every single Michigander impacted by her lockdown orders and travel warnings.”

“Not only did Whitmer and her top staffers vacation to Florida, but they tried to keep it secret because for Whitmer, it’s—rules for thee, but not for me.”

Chris Gustafson, a spokesman for the Republican Governors Association, said: “Whitmer’s rampant hypocrisy continues to insult hard-working Michiganders who struggle to get past her disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Two of Whitmer’s top staffers, including Michigan’s health director, vacationed in southern states despite Whitmer’s recommendation to avoid travel.

Despite Michigan’s strict coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, Michigan has reported the second-highest number of cases of a more contagious variant that was first identified in the U.K. Michigan also had the country’s worst infection rate earlier this month, the Associated Press reported.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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State officials, CDC investigating monkeypox case in Florida

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with Florida state health officials, are investigating what is believed to be a case of monkeypox. A statement from the Florida Department of Health in Broward County stated the “case is related to international travel, and the person remains isolated.”

Late Friday a New York City resident also tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox, and is the state’s first confirmed case. On Sunday, President Joe Biden made his first public statements about the outbreaks, saying the recent spread of monkeypox in at least 12 countries are “something that everybody should be concerned about.”

Axios reports a person was confirmed positive with the virus in Massachusetts, New York and “roughly a half dozen other cases” are “being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

 

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