Michigan gov’s office dismisses ‘partisan’ report revealing top aide headed to Florida for spring break

A top aide for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is facing criticism for defying Covid-19 travel warnings from her boss and traveling to the less strict Florida for a vacation.

Tricia L. Foster, appointed by Whitmer as her chief operations officer, took her trip to Florida only days after the governor warned against doing exactly that.

Whitmer warned this week she was concerned about Michigan residents taking spring break trips to Florida, which has far less stricter in its pandemic restrictions, and returning to the state. Her top aide apparently wasn’t listening as she posted photos from Siesta Key to her Facebook account, with screenshots originally being obtained by Breitbart News. The photos have since been taken down.

The images show Foster, who has been tasked with handling Michigan’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout strategy, on a beach and when replying to a comment from someone saying they thought they saw her walking on a beach in the sunshine state, she replied, “likely.”

When asked where her son was, Foster also revealed he was Covid-positive and at home.

“Missing his [senior] trip to the Bahamas so planned girls plan b 24 hours before flight,” she wrote. 

Foster is the latest in a long string of public officials who have been blasted as hypocritical for ignoring the very health guidelines they issue. 

“Warnings ‘are for thee… not for we,’” Michigan Republican activist Tori Sachs tweeted in response to the report about Foster. 

“Follow our orders, but we will not. That is @GovWhitmer’s staff. But remember, it was reported by Breitbart so even though the photos are real and really from her Facebook page it does not count,” writer Carmine Sabia added.

Bobby Leddy, Whitmer’s press secretary, has acknowledged the photos are in fact from Foster’s Facebook page, but slammed the Breitbart report as a “partisan attack from a garbage white nationalist website,” adding that Foster is “fully vaccinated.” He noted that  Foster was in compliance with the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that says those fully vaccinated can travel within the country at low risk to themselves and others. “People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the United State,” provided that they wear a mask, “stay 6 feet from others and avoid crowds” and follow hygiene rules, the CDC said in an April 2 update.

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Leddy did not reveal whether Foster’s daughter and daughter’s friends, who are also pictured on the beach, were also vaccinated. 

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