May 26, 2021
May 26, 2021
LANSING, Mich., May 26, 2021 – Journalist Charlie LeDuff reports in Deadline Detroit that it appears Michigan “wildly under-counts Covid deaths in its long term care facilities.”
Deadline Detroit: “A joint investigation by the “No BS News Hour” and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy reveals that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) does not do a thorough job of scrubbing vital records to determine whether people who died of Covid were nursing home residents, as its own guidelines require.”
The state has officially attributed 5,600 of Michigan’s 19,000 COVID deaths to long-term care facilities, based on self-reporting from those facilities. However, according to LeDuff, new data suggests that the long-term care facilities related deaths “may be 100 percent higher than the state reports.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel previously refused to investigate Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s controversial handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
Michigan Rising Action is once again calling on Nessel to launch an investigation given the recent revelation that Whitmer’s administration may be significantly underreporting nursing home deaths.
“The Attorney General should immediately launch an investigation into Governor Whitmer’s handling of COVID-related nursing home deaths,” said Eric Ventimiglia, executive director of Michigan Rising Action. “For more than a year, Governor Whitmer misled the people of Michigan over the devastating effects of her nursing home policy and ignored calls to stop mixing COVID-positive patients with uninfected populations of the elderly. The failure to thoroughly trace vital records because it was too ‘time-consuming’ at a time when senior members of the Whitmer Administration, including the Governor herself, were taking vacations is a slap in the face to the people of Michigan.”
Whitmer’s incomplete nursing home data has been under scrutiny for over a year. In May 2020, former health director Robert Gordon testified that the state’s nursing home data was undercounting deaths and The Detroit Free Press reported that the state data was lacking “the cumulative number of residents at each facility who contracted the virus, how many residents have recovered and the number of those who have died.”