LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said her husband’s comments last week about moving up the boat queue -- in which he asked if being married to the governor would help him move up in the line -- were simply a “failed attempt at humor.”
A boating company in Northern Michigan posted on social media last week that Whitmer’s husband, Dr. Marc Mallory, asked if being married to the governor would help him get his boat in the water despite a long backlog of residents trying to do the same over Memorial Day weekend.
UPDATE -- May 26, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 55,104; Death toll now at 5,266
While speaking Tuesday during her daily coronavirus (COVID-19) press briefing, Whitmer addressed the story.
“I do feel compelled to address the most recent one about my husband, Marc,” Whitmer said. "My husband made a failed attempt at humor last week when checking in with the small business that helps with our boat up north, knowing it wouldn’t make a difference. He jokingly asked if being married to me might move him up in the queue."
Whitmer said Mallory’s comments were made in jest, not a serious attempt to cut in front of other boaters also trying to get their boats in the water.
“Obviously, with the motorized boating prohibition in our early days of COVID-19, he thought it might get a laugh,” Whitmer said. “It didn’t, and to be honest, I wasn’t laughing either when it was relayed to me, because I knew how it would be perceived. He regrets it. I wish it wouldn’t have happened, and that’s really all we have to say about it.”
Whitmer said her family has been staying home over the last couple of months, including canceling her daughter’s prom and graduation ceremony.
“But it gets worse,” Whitmer said. “My family has had men with automatic rifles standing in view of our front window outside of our home. We’ve read the vile things people have said and written in response to my Stay Home, Stay Safe order. My daughters have seen the likeness of their mother hung from a noose in effigy.”
Whitmer’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan has met opposition from Republican legislators and protesters at the state Capitol Building.
On Friday, she extended the state’s stay-at-home order until June 12. She also extended the state of emergency until June 19.
Both executive orders had been set to expire Thursday.