Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer reportedly went maskless at a crowded cocktail bar in Washington, D.C., before pulling out of campaigning for Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
Washington, D.C., currently mandates that all adults, whether vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, wear a mask indoors. Whitmer was seen going maskless without food or drink in the standing-room area of Vue, a rooftop bar on the 11th floor of the Hotel Washington, on October 22, according to video reviewed by The Washington Free Beacon.
A hotel staffer confirmed to the Free Beacon that masks are required in Vue when patrons are not actively eating or drinking. Whitmer did not respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.
Whitmer was expected to campaign for McAuliffe the following morning by knocking on doors in Rosslyn, a neighborhood just outside of D.C. McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia, is in a tight race with his GOP competitor Glenn Youngkin.
Whitmer’s reported maskless socializing last week is the latest in a string of COVID controversies she has been at the center of since she ordered her state lockdown last year over the spread of COVID-19.
In June of last year, Whitmer led a protest march over the jury-adjudicated murder of George Floyd. Whitmer, who was masked at the time, stood shoulder to shoulder with other protesters despite her administration’s endorsement of federal health guidance stating that people social distance with at least six feet of space in between them at all times.
At the time, a spokesman from Whitmer’s office defended the governor’s march saying that the First Amendment rights of protesters trumped the administration’s health guidance.
“Nothing in this order shall be taken to abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal constitution,” spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said. “That includes the right to peaceful protest.”
Weeks before, Whitmer criticized anti-lockdown protesters on “The View” for violating health guidance during their marches.
“These protests, they do undermine the effort, and it’s very clearly a political statement that is playing out where people are coming together from across the state, they are congregating, they’re not wearing masks, they are not staying six feet apart and then they go back home into communities and the risk of perpetuating the spread of COVID-19 is real,” Whitmer said.
In May 2020, the governor dined out with at least a dozen others at The Landshark Bar & Grill in Lansing, Michigan, in violation of her own health orders. The governor later apologized.
“Yesterday, I went with friends to a local restaurant. As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together,” the governor said in a statement the day after. “Because we were all vaccinated, we didn’t stop to think about it. In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize.”
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