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Michigan governor apologizes after photo shows her violating state's health order

Michigan's governor has apologized after a photo showed her apparently violating social distancing orders at a restaurant.

Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan Senate passes voter ID mandate Beyond California, a record year for recalls Whitmer vetoes bill exempting graduations from crowd limits MORE (D) said Sunday that because everyone attending the gathering at an East Lansing bar and restaurant was vaccinated, she hadn't thought twice when servers pushed two tables together to accommodate the large number of guests.

"Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been committed to following public health protocols," Whitmer said Sunday, according to the Detroit News. "Yesterday, I went with friends to a local restaurant. As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together. Because we were all vaccinated, we didn't stop to think about it."

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"In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize," she added.

Photos of the gathering were first published by Breitbart News, a right-wing media outlet known for its former editor-in-chief's longstanding support for former President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE.

Whitmer in particular has battled Republicans in the state for months over COVID-19 restrictions, and the latest headlines related to her violation of her own orders is likely to only accelerate calls for Michigan's restrictions to end.

Last year, Michigan's Supreme Court ruled against Whitmer's continued extension of a state of emergency, which she was using to implement lockdown measures to control the spread of COVID-19. 

Violations of COVID-19 restrictions have vexed some state leaders in recent months amid frustration over state governments' handling of the pandemic. In California, Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomBeyond California, a record year for recalls Texas governor signs bill to allow college athletes to profit off name and likeness The Hill's Morning Report - Biden on Putin: 'a worthy adversary' MORE (D) faced significant backlash after violating his own restrictions on public gatherings with a visit to the French Laundry restaurant.