A top aide to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vacationed in Florida after the governor urged residents against traveling amid worst-in-the-nation Covid transmission rates in the state.
Tricia Foster, the governor’s chief operating officer, posted photos to Facebook of herself vacationing in Siesta Key earlier this week.
Screenshots of the post, obtained by The Detroit News, show Foster confirming she was in Siesta Key. “Are you in Siesta Key? I swear I saw you walking today,” one Facebook friend commented on Foster’s post. “Likely,” Foster replied.
After Breitbart first reported on the trip, Foster deleted the post.
In another comment, Foster wrote that someone, who Breitbart reports is “apparently” her son, had missed the trip and was “home with covid.” Whitmer has said that family members of someone who tests positive for Covid should self-quarantine and avoid travel.
“Where’s [redacted]?” one Facebook user commented on Foster’s post. “[Redacted] home with covid. Missing his [senior] trip to Bahamas planned girls plan b 24 hrs before flight,” Foster replied.
A Whitmer spokesperson said that Foster had “fully recovered” from Covid-19 and was fully vaccinated. Foster’s post includes photos of a number of people who appear to be in their teens on the trip. Michiganders 16 and up have only been eligible to receive the vaccine since April 5. The governor’s office could not immediately be reached to confirm whether these were Foster’s children and if they had also been vaccinated.
“This is a partisan attack from a garbage white nationalist website,” spokesman Bobby Leddy said in a statement. “Trish Foster is fully recovered from COVID and fully vaccinated.”
He pointed to new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines stating that fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S. without quarantining or getting tested after.
During remarks on April 2, Whitmer recommended that everyone get tested after any kind of travel, even in-state. Michigan has led the nation in Covid-19 cases for seven consecutive weeks, and is now reporting over 7,000 coronavirus infections per day.
Whitmer has repeatedly expressed concern about Spring Breakers traveling to Florida. She urged people returning from the Sunshine State to work from home for a week or have their children learn remotely for a week.
“Yes, I am concerned” about travel between the states, the governor told reporters last week. “That’s why we are really encouraging people to get vaccinated.”
Foster was tasked in January with overseeing the state’s vaccine rollout strategy, according to WCMU.