Senate greenlights funds to investigate governor over COVID-19 nursing home policy

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Thursday approved a supplemental budget bill to make $250,000 available to county prosecutors to investigate the Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration’s failed policy of putting people who had COVID-19 into the state’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

“It is truly unfortunate to have to introduce legislation such as this,” said Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton. “The people of Michigan are disappointed that those who have been entrusted with the great responsibility of protecting our seniors themselves acted irresponsibly. It is unfortunate that our governor and the state health department were responsible for the policy that put people with COVID-19 in the living spaces of seniors who we know to be the most vulnerable to the coronavirus and who now account for at least one-third of our state’s COVID-19 deaths.

“If our governor had listened to the experts and kept COVID-19-positive patients out of our nursing homes, this bill wouldn’t be necessary. If our attorney general had put the people of this state before her political allegiances — like they did in New York — and investigated the policy, this bill wouldn’t be necessary. But the obfuscation of this policy and its true impact leaves one to believe there is intent to hide the evidence.

“The failure of these leaders to act does not relieve us of our obligation to do so. Despite the stonewalling by our governor and the abdication of responsibility by our attorney general, we owe it to the grieving families of this state to get answers. This bill provides resources to the county prosecutors to do what our state’s attorney won’t — investigate the deaths of thousands of mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. And so, it is on behalf of those who were lost that I encourage my House colleagues to lend their support.”

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