I Knew Governor Whitmer Way Back When…

I went to the same high school as Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and though I knew she wasn’t a nice person back then, I never realized exactly how much she didn’t care about people — until now.


My mother lived in an Assisted Living Home in Grand Rapids. She had been battling dementia for seven years and had been doing surprisingly well, with the disease progressing at a very slow pace. For example, Mom knew who all of her family and friends were. Her biggest joy was spending time with them.

She had frequent visitors, and she loved going out for lunch and shopping. Mom enjoyed her friends at the assisted living home, playing bingo and getting her nails done.

Even though her health was unfortunate, my mom thrived when she was with loved ones. She was living a very good life.


Then Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders took place in March of 2020 in light of the fear of COVID. I knew this shut down would be tough for my mom, but Governor Whitmer promised if we could just make a sacrifice for three weeks, we could flatten the curve. It was inconvenient but I understood and we adapted.

We called mom everyday. Understandably, she was confused about what was going on; we all were at that point as Covid was new to all of us. But especially mom. She didn’t understand why we couldn’t visit, why she couldn’t see her friends at the assisted living home where she lived, why she had to eat alone, and stay in her room.

But then her Internet service stopped working. She had no television and no phone and, therefore, no access to humans or the outside world. She was alone. The cable/internet company was not allowed to go there due to Governor Whitmer’s lockdown.

The lockdown that was supposed to be three weeks — but for my mom it turned into a lifetime. This lack of connection with humans was the tipping point to the end. Mom started a downward spiral.


I got a call from an aide who was doing daily vital signs, and Mom’s blood pressure was very low. Mom had high blood pressure ever since I’ve known her, so this was a little worrisome. About 10 minutes after that call ended, the aide called me back stating that my mom had had a fall.

The staff had left her alone in the room with a low blood pressure and, confused and disoriented, she fell and fell hard. She was taken by ambulance to the emergency room. But we were not allowed to see her, due to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders.

Mom was alone at the hospital, trying to explain to them where she hurt, which was not easy with her dementia. They did test her for COVID and the results came back negative. Eventually she did go back to the Assisted Living Home, still without us seeing her. The staff attempted to keep us posted on her health and we were eventually notified she was put on hospice due to her declining health.


To a woman who was already dealing with limited abilities, and living in a restricted environment, Governor Whitmer’s “Life Saving Executive Orders” were the very thing that cut off life from my mother. It did not ‘save her from COVID’ but instead pushed her to an early death. She could not be with people or have the care she deserved — and so she gave up on living.

Governor Whitmer and her decrees proved to me what I saw back in school: Whitmer didn’t particularly like people or care about them. She craved power, spotlight and control. Now we can’t possibly count how many people have suffered abuse and harm because of her actions.

In the final days of my mother’s life, we couldn’t see mom, and we couldn’t talk to mom. She sat in a small room 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in what amounted to

solitary confinement. This is hard for even the healthiest of minds, but it’s torture for someone with dementia.

She saw the person bringing the food and the person who took vitals and delivered the medicine, but no one else.

She had no television to watch and nobody to talk to.

The home was finally about to let residents go out one by one for walks. However, Mom was made to stay in her room because she was now a fall-risk.

She stopped eating.

We were FINALLY able to visit her window because of her declining state. While my sister was there, mom said she had to use the bathroom. The aide told her to stay in bed and go in her diaper because she was now a fall risk. After stripping away all human connection, they took away the only thing left: her dignity.

They were following the example of Governor Whitmer: the only thing that mattered was the COVID case count. The quality of life for actual human beings didn’t count for anything.

My wise, amazing, generous, kind mother laid in her bed and wasted away until she died on May 8, 2020.


To this day, almost a year later, we still do not know why she died. Our hearts and minds are seared with grief. We cannot articulate how much it hurts. Governor Whitmer and her executives don’t care about actual people, so we are confident we will never get a true cause of death. We have prepared ourselves to never have closure.

My old classmate Gretchen, who you know as Governor Whitmer, through her policies and decrees and government edicts, not only took MY mother, she took the mother of nine children, grandmother to 33 children, and great grandmother to 31 children.

Mom’s death is a HUGE loss for our family. It is our hope that telling this story will expose the lack of character behind the woman who wants to be reelected as our Governor. I know Mom is looking down from Heaven with a sparkle in her eye cheering us on to redeem the moment, ensuring everyone knows the horror so that this abuse can never be repeated again.

Governor Whitmer: we are making it our mission to expose you. You are bad for the state of Michigan.

On behalf of a grieving family,

Patty Steffes