Theis praises DOJ inquiry into Whitmer COVID-19 nursing home policy

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday requested COVID-19 data from the Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration concerning executive orders that may have led to the deaths of nursing home residents:

“The decision to place COVID-19 patients into our state’s nursing homes was a horrible policy from the start, and I called on the governor to stop it back in April after it became clear that healthy residents were getting infected. Despite the fact that over a third of all COVID-19 deaths in Michigan occurred among nursing home patients — a figure that is likely much higher when factoring in all similar facilities — the Whitmer administration has continued the practice in the face of the objections of health care professionals and bipartisan legislation that would have banned it.

“Unlike other states, the residents of Michigan still do not have access to all the data surrounding COVID-19 deaths. Whitmer’s administration continues to refuse to release the data on COVID-19 deaths that occurred in long-term care facilities such as adult foster care, homes for the aged and unlicensed assisted-living centers. Experts have said cases in those facilities may exceed the cases already reported from nursing homes. The governor may claim that Michigan’s nursing homes statistics reflect similar case totals to those from other states; however, it is clear that by only releasing portions of the data she is skewing the numbers.

“Blaming others for her own bad strategy is not an excuse, and the governor could have changed her policy at any time, but to date she has not. I appreciate that the Department of Justice is scrutinizing the data on this matter and I encourage federal officials to not rest until they get the requested information for all the state’s elder care facilities. The families of those who have perished deserve answers.”

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