News Story

Upton Joins The Other ‘Do As I Say’ Politicians On Social Distancing

Posted himself violating executive order on Facebook

Republican Fred Upton from St. Joseph has been in the U.S. Congress since 1987. He has also joined the politicians who have both advised members of the public to adhere to social distancing mandates while posting photos of themselves on Facebook violating them.

Upton posted photos of himself violating social distancing protocols required under Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus executive orders while he was at demonstrations held on June 14.

In one photo, Upton is wearing a mask but is within close contact of two other people, one of whom is not wearing a mask.

Under Whitmer’s executive order, that is a misdemeanor. The executive order states: “Any individual who leaves his or her home or place of residence must:

  1. Follow social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.”

Upton’s comments on the post stated, “Honored to be part of a peaceful march from St. Joe to Benton Harbor with SW MI leaders to protest injustice & condemn racism. We can’t stand still. We must move our country forward. Enough messages, it’s time for action. If not us, who? If not now, when?”

On June 15, Upton posted another picture of the rallies that showed several of the protesters not practicing social distance measures.

“Today’s picture includes one from me at the SJ/BH Black Lives Matter walk. You can see folks stretched across the two bridges leading from Benton Harbor to St. Joe,” Upton said in that post.

Eight days later, a newsletter Upton mailed to voters in his southwest Michigan district included a warning. Noting an increase in COVID-19 cases in St. Joseph County after those demonstrations, the newsletter urged residents not to congregate in groups.

“These are common sense instructions that we all need to follow,” Upton wrote in his mailing.