Gretchen Whitmer held California fundraisers while Michigan led US in COVID-19 cases, records show
Whitmer had fundraising events in California as Michigan COVID-19 rates led nation
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attended cross-country fundraising events in California while her home state was leading the country in COVID-19 cases, according to campaign finance reports reviewed by Fox New Digital.
On Nov. 16, 2021, Detroit News headlines said "Michigan leads the nation in new COVID cases," and "Michigan is now the worst COVID-19 hot spot in nation." That same day, Whitmer was in California for a fundraising event, according to the 2021 fundraising reports.
The event was held at a private residence in Los Angeles, and Whitmer raised approximately $78,000 from the appearance. This was one stop on an apparent multi-day trip to California.
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A day later, Whitmer was at her next fundraising stop in San Francisco. On Nov. 18, Whitmer was in Palo Alto, fundraising at a reception dinner.
Michigan had slightly more than 3,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals during the week of Whitmer's trip. It was the first time it had crossed that threshold since spring, while nearly all hospital beds were occupied in Minnesota. Both held the unflattering rank of national virus hotspots.
"The more reports come out, the more we uncover about Gretchen Whitmer’s priorities, which are not to keep Michiganders safe, but rather, to ascend the political ladder while destroying livelihoods," Michigan GOP communications director Gustavo Portela told Fox News Digital.
"It’s clear she can’t be trusted to lead the state or keep people safe from this deadly virus. We must retire her and her cronies this fall," Portela added.
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The governor, who is up for reelection this year, has faced a series of struggles lately.
Whitmer is underwater, as over half of Wolverine State voters disapprove of her job performance, according to a recent poll.
Independent pollster EPIC MRA found last month that 52% of Michiganders who are likely to vote in the 2022 midterms do not approve of Whitmer’s job as governor, with only 45% saying she’s doing a good job.
A state auditor found last month that the number of COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities reported by the Whitmer administration was significantly lower than the actual number.
Fox News' Houston Keene contributed reporting