What Gov. Whitmer said about photo of her with large group of people at Michigan restaurant

‘It was an honest mistake, and I have apologized for it.’

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a May 24, 2021, briefing in Grand Rapids. (WDIV)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer answered a question Monday about a controversial picture that showed her sitting with a large party at a restaurant despite longtime restrictions limiting tables to six people.

Even though COVID numbers are dropping the Michigan is starting to relax restrictions, a rule limiting table sizes for indoor dining has been in place for about 13 months. Since restaurant rules were put in place, a six-person limit has been enforced for indoor dining.

Busy week of Michigan COVID news: Whitmer’s restaurant photo, new restrictions, returning to work

This weekend, a photo surfaced showing the governor sitting at a table with at least 12 people. She said she went to the restaurant with some friends and when more people arrived, tables were pushed together to merge parties. She said everyone was vaccinated, so they didn’t stop to think about it being an issue.

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

During a Monday (May 24) briefing in Grand Rapids, during which Whitmer announced new MIOSHA workplace restrictions, the governor was asked about the situation.

Here’s what Whitmer said about the photo:

“So I’ll just say this: I have put out a statement. I wrote that statement. It was an honest mistake, and I have apologized for it. I think that we have specifically not gone forward and penalized businesses that are trying to do the right thing. It’s those that have flouted and put people’s safety at risk that are the most concerning.

“But I don’t know that there’s a lot more for me to add at this point in time other than those former Spartans -- or, I guess you’re a Spartan for life who know the establishment should be aware that it is now a restaurant and they have pretty good pizza. Next question.”

In response to a follow-up question, Whitmer said there’s always pushback from Michiganders when the state changes restrictions.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.