FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer Violating Social Distancing Rules On Mackinac Island?

Jonathan Fonti | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer violating social distancing guidelines on Michigan’s Mackinac Island.

Verdict: False

The photo, which is well over a year old, does not show Whitmer violating social distancing guidelines.

Fact Check:

In recent days, social media users have shared a photo of Whitmer speaking with two men, claiming it shows the governor violating social distancing guidelines on Mackinac Island, where the governor’s summer residence is located.

“Happy Memorial Weekend Look at #whitmer, obviously the 6ft rule is funny because you can see her smile without her mask on!” reads the caption. “Nice #Michigan Keep staying home….. NOT!”

The photo, however, predates the confirmation of Michigan’s first coronavirus cases by well over a year and does not show her breaking social distancing guidelines. In October 2018, the Oakland Press included the photo in a question-and-answer article with the then-gubernatorial candidate. It shows Whitmer “speaking to Michigan residents while on the campaign trail,” according to the caption.

In an email to the Daily Caller, a spokesperson for Whitmer’s office said the Michigan governor has not been to her Mackinac Island residence since September 2019. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer Violating Social Distancing Rules For A Beer Tasting?)

Whitmer announced on May 22 that the state’s stay-at-home order would be extended to June 12. The announcement came after she relaxed some restrictions, permitting social gatherings of 10 or fewer people and allowing some retail businesses to operate on an appointment-only basis, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Jonathan Fonti

Fact Check Reporter
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