Gov. Whitmer didn’t follow MDHHS travel guidelines to quarantine after Florida trip

More than 870K COVID-19 cases confirmed in Michigan

Gov. Whitmer didn't follow MDHHS travel guidelines to quarantine after Florida trip

DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s trip to Florida to see her father in March is raising some new questions.

This time it’s about whether the governor followed the travel guidelines her own health department published a couple of weeks prior to the controversial trip.

The governor spent considerable time pleading with Michiganders not to travel particularly to Florida.

She advised that if people did they would have to follow the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) travel guidelines.

Now those guidelines were not an executive order and merely a suggestion.

Still, the governor traveled to Florida in March and it turns out she did not follow the MDHHS suggestions.

It took the governor’s office a couple months to confirm it, but she indeed flew from Lansing to west Palm Beach in a private jet on March 12, spent the weekend with her father and headed back to Lansing on March 15.

Just days before on February 22 the MDHHS released this out of state safe travel guidance that read, “get tested with a PCR viral test one to three days before you travel.”

Then upon your return to Michigan the guidelines read, “Get tested again with a viral test three to five days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full seven days after travel, even if your test is negative.”

“If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel,” the guidelines continued.

Yet on March 18 the governor said, “I know the goal to be together for the 4th of July, having a barbecue, celebrating the independence of our nation is a realistic goal where we can get together.”

Local 4 News cameras rolled as the governor bypassed the self quarantine and attended a vaccination press conference at Ford Field.

We checked with the governor’s office and asked if she received the suggested tests before or after her trip.

Offering no specifics, her press office said only that she gets tested regularly.

Then a couple of weeks later on Meet the Press the governor said, “Michigan and Florida are not next to each other. But this is the time of the year that snowbirds come home from Florida, where people are going on spring break, and all of these things can contribute to spread. That’s why we’re imploring people to take this seriously, mask up, get tested.”

Local 4 News asked the governor’s office why she did not follow her own health department’s guidance and the response was it wasn’t an executive order and she followed all orders.

The office inquired about whether Local 4 News asked the same of Republican legislative leaders and indeed the House Speaker Jason Wentworth went on spring break out of state.

However, his office said the difference is he was not advocating following those guidelines.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 876,854 as of Monday, including 18,627 deaths, state officials report.

Monday’s update includes a total of 2,230 new cases and 20 additional deaths over the past two days.

Michigan COVID: Here’s what to know May 17, 2021

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.