Whitmer Admitted Thursday that She Knows Nursing Home Residents at Particular Risk – So Why Won’t She Stop Sending COVID-19 to Them?
LANSING, MI, May 29, 2020 – The Michigan Freedom Fund today asked Governor Gretchen Whitmer and senior administration officials to be more transparent with press and the public and to release long-requested and critical data surrounding the state’s decision to move patients with COVID-19 into the state’s nursing homes, among the population most vulnerable to the virus.
Important questions Governor Whitmer has the opportunity to answer include:
1) Asked at Thursday’s press conference why “there hasn’t been a ban on COVID-19 patients in nursing homes” Governor Whitmer bewilderingly but directly responded:
“Obviously we, like states across the country… have been learning an incredible amount about COVID 19, it being a novel virus. The amount that we’ve learned just in the last 8 weeks is dramatically different form what we knew as we were watching the cases exponentially rise. The clear indication is that older people are more susceptible and at congregate care facilities, that is exacerbated.”
Physicians advised for months before the state’s first COVID case that seniors and the infirm were the patients most vulnerable to the disease. In fact, the Governor routinely held up Italy’s struggle with the virus as the reason behind her decision to close schools and keep workers off jobsites.
At least 23% of the fatalities in the state have occurred in nursing homes, a number Whitmer calls an “undercount.”
Did the Governor not know 8 weeks ago that seniors and the infirm are of particular risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19?
2) If, as Whitmer asserted yesterday, “The clear indication is that older people are more susceptible and at congregate care facilities, that is exacerbated”, why won’t she end the state’s policy of sending COVID-19 patients to nursing homes where they jeopardize the high-risk elderly and infirm?
3) On what science and data – specifically – is Governor Whitmer basing the decision to continue sending COVID-19 patients to nursing homes, given her admission that “the clear indication is that older people are more susceptible and at congregate care facilities, that is exacerbated.”
4) How many of Michigan’s tragic COVID-19 deaths occurred in nursing homes, or among nursing home patients transferred to other settings?
5) Is the Governor aware of the report last night from ABC News that of the 21 states that eased lockdown restrictions on May 4 or earlier – including Indiana and Ohio – the science and data show none experienced a major increase in hospitalizations, deaths, or the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19?