Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), one of the most open proponents of strict lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, conceded this week that her state’s measures were “a little more than we needed to do.”
Whitmer, who just won reelection in November for a second term, was more candid about her leadership’s shortcomings in a recent interview.
The governor stated in part that elements of the lockdowns, “in retrospect don’t make a lot of sense.”
Whitmer admitted that some of the most restrictive measures, including locking down gardening sections within stores.
“It was February in Michigan, no one was planting anyway,” she said. However, the lockdown order continued until April 2020.
The governor’s admission that the lockdowns went too far come only after significant criticism, mostly from Republicans, over the state’s restrictions.
The stunning reversal came after Michigan was regularly cited by conservative critics as being among the most restrictive lockdowns in the country.
Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer very grudgingly admits restricting seed sales during her endless lockdown orders "maybe was a little more than we needed to do." pic.twitter.com/HMRe6oNPNl
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 13, 2023
Whitmer’s admission also came after considerable evasion on the topic in the past. During last year’s contentious gubernatorial race, the governor claimed that an audio issue prevented her from answering a question about the pandemic.
The governor’s 2022 Republican opponent Tudor Dixon blasted Whitmer’s statement.
Dixon, a political analyst, said that the governor was “backpedaling as she plots her political future.”
The former Republican candidate said that Whitmer “attempts to gaslight the people of Michigan into thinking she bears no responsibility for the tyrannical, confusing, and cruel lockdown policies she put in place.”
The Republican cited the high cost of the lockdowns, including those facing small businesses and schoolchildren.
Dixon said, “none of her lies can hide these horrible but true facts.”
The former gubernatorial candidate was joined by former Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), who lost a primary to challenger John Gibbs in the Republican primary last year.
Meijer said that Whitmer’s “gaslighting here is simply breathtaking,” he said. The former congressman added that the mandates “were so unclear that some stores put caution tape around entire aisles.”
He continued, “A bit of humility would be nice.”