Whitmer, a Democrat, issued an executive order in April 2020 to select 21 nursing homes as “regional hubs,” which were supposed to provide care for both seniors recovering from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and those who didn’t get the virus. According to the order, the hubs were picked based on their capability to house patients who had tested both positive and negative for the virus in suitably separated units or buildings.
In different letters addressed to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday, a group of eight Republican lawmakers demanded a “full investigation” into Whitmer’s treatment of long-term care patients throughout the pandemic, claiming that her regional hub policy ended in deaths that could have been avoided.
“Gov. Whitmer’s regional hub policy placed patients with and without COVID-19 in the same facilities and may have exacerbated the death toll in those facilities,” the letter announces, remarking that moving residents around the state between facilities and hospitals may have significantly grown exposure of those seniors to the virus.
The lawmakers further highlighted the “discrepancies” in how CCP virus infections and deaths were listed by the nursing homes. They explained that when a patient was moved to a hospital and got a positive test result there, some nursing home facilities added that to their count, while others didn’t. They suspected that similar differences might have likewise befallen in the reporting of deaths after transfer.
Particularly, the lawmakers want to examine the processes and policies that may have added to the spread of the virus among Michigan’s nursing home residents, the accuracy of the data listed by the governor’s office, and how well the state complied with federal health guidelines and the Freedom of Information Act.
In August 2020, the Justice Department asked governors of states which had “issued COVID-19 orders that may have resulted in deaths of elderly nursing home residents,” namely Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, to submit data on deaths in those long-term care facilities. Whitmer, followed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, fired back against those requests, claiming that they were but a “nakedly partisan deflection” targeting states run by Democrats.
“The fact that this letter was sent during the middle of the Republican National Convention week to four Democratic governors should make it crystal clear that this is nothing more than election-year politics by an administration that is more concerned with the president’s re-election campaign than protecting Michigan seniors,” Whitmer stated at the time.