Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is currently under investigation for her state’s excessive nursing home deaths suffered at the height of the COVID pandemic.
Much like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Witmer allowed patients positive with COVID-19 to enter nursing homes. Some politicians also fear that the number of reported COVID deaths at nursing homes and similar facilities may very well have been undercounted, perhaps purposefully, as was the case with Cuomo.
Due to these concerns, Michigan Auditor General Doug Ringler confirmed last week — in a letter addressed to Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland — that he would be conducting a review of Michigan’s data regarding COVID-related deaths at long-term care facilities, according to Detroit News.
“As of the week of June 30, the state reported about 4,216 resident deaths connected to a skilled nursing facility, 938 linked to homes for the aged and 526 linked to adult foster care facilities with more than 13 residents,” Detroit News reported.
“Together, those deaths make up about 29% of Michigan’s 19,775 COVID-related deaths.”
Previous inquiries into Michigan’s COVID death count data were shut down by Whitmer because “her office has a legal exemption from Michigan’s Freedom of information law,” The Western Journal reported back in March.
At that time, State Attorney General Dana Nessel — a Michigan Democrat — defended the lack of transparency coming for Whitmer’s office.
“I appreciate that you and your colleagues have policy disagreements with Governor Whitmer’s response to COVID-19,” Nessel wrote to Republican state Sen. Jim Runestad, who called for an investigation into Whitmer.
“But an investigation by my office is not the mechanism to resolve those disagreements.”
The auditor general’s new investigation was initiated after Rep. Johnson requested the Office of the Auditor-General perform a “comprehensive study of reported and unreported deaths in long-term care facilities” back in June.
“We will be working with various departments’ databases to address your concerns, which will impact the timing of our work,” Ringler wrote in the letter according to The Detroit News.
Johnson later announced that he is “confident” the Auditor General will find “a more accurate picture of the deadly results of Gov. Whitmer’s decision to place COVID positive patients in long-term facilities.”