June 3, 2021
June 3, 2021
LANSING, MIich., June 3, 2021 – While testifying before the Michigan House Oversight Committee, Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Elizabeth Hertel acknowledged that COVID deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities “could be low.” She added, “”we do not know because we don’t know what’s occurring in those facilities.”
“More than 16 months after Michigan’s first case of COVID-19, the Whitmer Administration remains unable to properly manage data that is critical to fully understanding the devastating effects of her nursing home policy. Today’s admission by Director Hertel does not come as a surprise to thousands of Michigan families who have lost loved ones as a result of misguided policy decisions made throughout the pandemic,” said Eric Ventimiglia, executive director of Michigan Rising Action. Ventimiglia continued, “The Governor said she would follow the data, but it is evident that her administration knows that information is still deeply flawed and incomplete.”
Following Hertel’s testimony, House Oversight Committee Chair Steve Johnson called for the Auditor General to investigate the data MDHHS has collected to determine the real number of COVID deaths in nursing homes.
Today’s hearing on under-counted COVID deaths in nursing homes, comes after Deadline Detroit released a report detailing new data that revealed the possibility of thousands more COVID deaths in nursing homes than reported by the state.