Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faces a controversy this weekend over her husband, their cottage near Elk Rapids and a dock company.
Tuesday at her press conference she addressed the accusations for the first time.
It was Whitmer who slowed the boating industry with a boating prohibition a few weeks ago.
It was she who undid that ban.
It was she who banned travel to second homes and then reversed course on that too.
It was also she who opened Northern Michigan for business but urged people to avoid flooding these newly released industries.
“We’ve been 12 weeks into this and it is something that, I think, has been difficult for many,” Whitmer says.
She knew Northern Michigan would be busy over the long weekend. She did not know the biggest headline to come out of the area would be about her husband and their local boat dock company swamped with clients.
“Knowing it wouldn’t make a difference, he jokingly asked if being married to me might move him up the queue,” she explained. “Obviously, with the motorized boating prohibition in our early days of COVID-19, he thought it might get a laugh. It didn’t. I have to be honest, I wasn’t laughing either when it was relayed to me.”
Many of her critics looked past the bad joke. But more rumors alleged the entire family was at their cottage near Elk Rapids all weekend; despite her warnings to be careful when traveling.
“My husband did go up to our place in Antrim County and rake some leaves and came home,” Whitmer says. “He was there. We did not pile all into the car to go and enjoy our second home, although that would have been permitted.”
This is an issue because so little of the state is open. For some of our viewers lumped in to the Grand Rapids region, they got hints that they may not be getting their green light soon.
“Right now we are seeing in Grand Rapids that they have a higher rate of cases per million than any other parts of the state right now,” says the state Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “But what’s important is they are also continuing to come down.”
If you want to follow along with how the regions are doing, a new dashboard has been added to the state’s coronavirus website. It breaks down each region by important factors. That website can be found