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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.

https://twitter.com/MIGOP/status/1384283885589078018

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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Study finds harmful levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in popular bandage brands

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A new consumer study tested several brands of bandages and found higher levels of fluorine in bandages from Band-Aid, CVS Health, Walmart, Rite Aid, Target and Curad, which contain harmful levels of “forever chemicals,” also known as PFAS.

The study by Mamavation and Environmental Health News revealed that out of 40 bandages from 18 different brands, 26 contained organic fluorine, an indicator of PFAS.

“Because bandages are placed upon open wounds, it’s troubling to learn that they may be also exposing children and adults to PFAS,” said Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, the study’s co-author and the former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program.

News Nation reports that the study found the chemicals present in the adhesive part of the bandages. Mamavation said some brands likely used the PFAS in bandages “for their waterproof qualities.”

“It’s obvious from the data that PFAS are not needed for wound care, so it’s important that the industry remove their presence to protect the public from PFAS and opt instead for PFAS-free materials,” Birnbaum said.

According to the study, the chemicals are linked to several health effects, including “reduced immune system, vaccine response, developmental and learning problems for infants and children, certain cancers, lowered fertility, and endocrine disruption.”

While the exposure risk to PFAS through the skin isn’t clear, skin exposure “poses similar health risks” as eating or drinking food contaminated with PFAS, according to a previous study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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