Michigan governor's husband pleaded to get boat in water
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s husband urged a business to get his boat in the water in time for Memorial Day weekend, according to social media posts, while she was publicly telling cooped-up residents to resist flocking to popular vacation areas during the coronavirus pandemic.
Personal Facebook posts from NorthShore Dock owner Tad Dowker are no longer available. But The Detroit News reported that Dowker’s staff last week took a call from Whitmer’s husband, Marc Mallory.
“This morning, I was out working when the office called me, there was a gentleman on hold who wanted his boat in the water before the weekend,” Dowker posted, according to the News. “Being Memorial weekend and the fact that we started working three weeks late means there is no chance this is going to happen.
“Well our office personnel had explained this to the man and he replied, ‘I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?’” Dowker posted.
Whitmer, a Democrat, and Mallory own a property in the Elk Rapids area in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
NorthShore Dock subsequently said on Facebook that Mallory was respectful and understood why the company couldn’t immediately get his boat in the water, the News reported.
“Our practice is not to discuss the governor’s or her family’s personal calendar/schedules. And we’re not going to make it a practice of addressing every rumor that is spread online,” Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said.
The governor has lifted restrictions on Michigan residents traveling to second homes or taking a road trip. But she doesn’t encourage it, saying the coronavirus is highly contagious.
“A small spike could put the hospital system in dire straits pretty quickly,” Whitmer said. “That’s precisely why we’re asking everyone to continue doing their part.”
Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett said Whitmer’s husband wasn’t following her message.
“In the Army, we have a tradition that the leaders get in line for chow last behind everyone else in the unit,” said Barrett, an Iraq War veteran. “Her family is trying to cut people in line.”
Gov. Whitmer also addressed the incident during her Tuesday press conference saying, "This crisis is not about me and never has been. It's about a killer virus that is confronting all Americans. We need to have some perspective, and remember that this is about the people of Michigan who are mourning the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a business or a job. It's about our brave first responders who put their lives on the line taking care of others.
"Over the past couple of months, we have seen an explosion of rampant rumors and violent death threats against my family and me online. Because of that, I'm not going to get into the business of refuting and discussing every aspect of my whereabouts, or dispelling every inaccurate statement or post, because frankly, there's just too many to keep up with. That said, I do feel compelled to address the most recent one about my husband, Marc. My husband made a failed attempt at humor last week when checking in with the small business that helps with our boat and dock up north. Knowing it wouldn't make a difference, he jokingly asked if being married to me might move him up in the queue. Obviously, with the motorized boating prohibition in our early days of COVID-19, he thought it might get a laugh. 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."
Watch the entire press conference from the TV6 & FOX UP Facebook page below.