Throwback Thursday: Whitmer’s Nursing Home Disaster Throwback Thursday: Whitmer’s Nursing Home Disaster - Michigan Rising Action

Throwback Thursday: Whitmer’s Nursing Home Disaster

Throwback Thursday: Whitmer’s Nursing Home Disaster

July 1, 2021

Throwback to a year ago, when Governor Gretchen Whitmer received well deserved criticism for her deadly policy of putting COVID positive patients into nursing homes with uninfected populations of the elderly. The Detroit News reported:

The U.S. House Republicans claimed that Whitmer’s nursing home policies “likely contributed to the thousands of elderly deaths in Michigan,” alleging that state officials deviated from guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Attorney General Dana Nessel refused to investigate the COVID nursing home deaths, despite overwhelming evidence that Governor Whitmer’s nursing home policy was deadly.

“Nessel, in response to a letter led by House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, …wrote Monday that she was “deeply troubled” that the Republican lawmakers’ concern “does not extend to all of the nation’s elderly.” 

Governor Whitmer’s own task force recommended an immediate stop to this poorly conceived policy. 

The recommendations seek to limit the sending of COVID-19 positive individuals to nursing homes that don’t have a history of caring for residents with the virus. And they aim to change the “regional hub” system that’s been a cornerstone of Whitmer administration’s policies, which have focused on using isolated areas of existing nursing homes.

Don’t forget, members of her own party spoke out against the Governor’s deadly nursing home policy, making the criticism bipartisan. 

“Democrat State Rep. Angela Witwer joins Rep. Leslie Love in speaking out against the policy. Thirteen State House Democrats also voted for a resolution opposing Whitmer’s decision to put coronavirus patients in nursing homes on June 18.”

Unfortunately, Whitmer continued to ignore all of the experts and the bipartisan pushback, and she doubled down on the deadly policy. 

“We were hoping Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would work with the Legislature on an important bill that would have reversed the state’s dangerous nursing home policy. Yet she stubbornly refused to even consider it, and vetoed the legislation Friday.”

Finally, Whitmer slowly began to roll back her deadly nursing home policy, 6 months too late. 

“The News reported in July that nearly half of the 45 nursing homes in Michigan with the most COVID-19 deaths had been cited by state inspectors in recent months for failing to follow infection control, isolation or staffing policies.

Fast forward a year, and the extent of Whitmer’s deadly nursing home policy is beginning to come into focus

“The true number of pandemic deaths inside Michigan’s elder care centers may never be known. But our analysis shows that the Covid death toll may be 100 percent higher than the state reports.”

Sadly, Whitmer’s administration has little interest in providing answers to these questions. Michigan is still undercounting COVID deaths in long-term care facilities.

“By (MDHHS Director) Hertel’s own admission, the reported number of long-term care deaths in Michigan “could be low.” Logically, it’s an almost absolute certainty. A large number of facilities are not required to report, and the department has failed to cross-reference addresses on death certificates against the known addresses of long-term care facilities. The question, then, is not whether the state is undercounting, but by how much.”

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