The reported number of COVID-19 deaths among residents of Michigan’s nursing homes and long term care facilities “could be low” according to testimony delivered this week in the House Oversight Committee by Elizabeth Hertel, Governor Whitmer’s handpicked director of the state’s department of health and human services.
The hearing came on the heels of a bombshell report from Pulitzer prize winning journalist Charlie LeDuff, who sued the state for nursing home COVID data, reviewed vital records numbers, and found the state is likely underreporting the number of individuals who contracted the coronavirus in nursing homes and later lost their lives.
That matters, of course, because Governor Whitmer spent months last year actively importing COVID-19 patients into nursing homes and other facilities providing care for the aged and medically frail.
The Governor has bragged for months that her moves saved lives, despite universal scientific consensus that COVID is most deadly among the populations living in facilities where the Governor imported the virus. LeDuff’s reporting and Hertel’s admission beg the question – how many more nursing home deaths isn’t the state telling us about?
While we’re asking questions, let’s ask another – if the Whitmer administration have been doing contact tracing for the last 15 months, why haven’t they traced contacts to give residents real answers?
It may take an investigation by the state’s auditor general to find out.
Michigan Freedom Fund
“More than 5,600 nursing home residents died of COVID-19 out of Michigan’s total 19,000 COVID-19 deaths based on publicly available data on long-term care facilities. Nearly 7,000 other COVID-19 deaths are classified at “vital records reviews,” but the state has stopped determining which of those deaths are connected to Michigan nursing homes, according to LeDuff.”
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