Michigan’s Mackinac Policy Conference was a COVID-19 superspreader as movers and shakers come down with virus

About 1,345 politicians, government and business leaders, and reporters attended the annual conference

The annual Mackinac Policy Conference was held from May 31 to June 2. - SHUTTERSTOCK
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The annual Mackinac Policy Conference was held from May 31 to June 2.

At least 15 people who attended the three-day Mackinac Policy Conference last week have tested for COVID-19 so far, making the event a superspreader.

About 1,345 politicians, government and business leaders, and reporters attended the annual conference.

Most of the attendees weren’t wearing a mask, according to numerous photos and videos from the event.

Among those who tested positive so far are U.S. Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg and Crain's Detroit Business reporter David Eggert.

“Luckily, when I got back and before I had symptoms, I masked up around my family just assuming I was infected because of the potential for it to be a super-spreader event,” Eggert tweeted.

To attend the conference, attendees were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test. All but 14 were vaccinated.

The Detroit Regional Chamber, which hosted the event, warned conference-goers about the COVID-19 breakout in an email Monday and offered a hotline number.

“At this time, the Chamber is aware of 15 individuals participating in the Conference who tested positive for COVID-19 in the days immediately following the event,” the email said. “The individuals testing positive report being asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms, and we wish them a speedy recovery.”

The conference included a debate among four of the five Republican gubernatorial candidates, along with breakout meetings, keynote addresses, and large gatherings for meals and drinks.

On Twitter, Buttigieg said he is "experiencing mild symptoms."

“I plan to work remotely while isolating according to CDC guidelines, and look forward to when I can safely return to the office and the road,” Buttigieg tweeted.

Metro Times will update this developing story.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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