New Freedom Fund Billboard Campaign:
Why Didn’t Whitmer Protect Our Seniors?

Group Echoes Concerns of Families, Seniors Concerned with Governor’s EO Sending COVID-19 Patients to Senior Homes, Her Unwillingness to End Dangerous Policy


LANSING MI, June 8, 2020 – The Michigan Freedom Fund on Friday launched a major new public awareness campaign, unveiling billboards on Michigan highways asking why Governor Gretchen Whitmer didn’t protect the state’s seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities from COVID-19. Instead of taking action to protect them, Whitmer has signed and repeatedly defended in the press multiple executive orders to intentionally import patients with the virus into facilities that care for the state’s most vulnerable.

Global evidence and scientific consensus predating the March arrival of COVID-19 in Michigan found conclusively that the virus is particularly deadly for the elderly and infirm.

“The evidence is in.  The families of at least 1,654 seniors who’ve lost their lives in Michigan nursing homes – each someone’s mom, dad, grandparent or sibling – have seen and lost enough,” said Freedom Fund Executive Director Tony Daunt.  “Governor Whitmer’s nursing home policy is reckless, it’s dangerous, and it’s deadly.  She owes grieving family members an explanation, and she owes seniors whose lives are still threatened by her policy an urgent and immediate change in course.”

Whitmer has been asked by Democrats, Republicans, newspaper editorial pages, and the families of seniors whose lives are threatened by her executive orders to rescind them, but she refuses.

Governor Whitmer also refuses to release comprehensive state data on the number of seniors who have died in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, other than to say that numbers reported by the press represent an “undercount.” Federal reports say at least 1,654 Michigan seniors have died in nursing homes this year, but they too believe the real number is much higher.

Nationally, 43% of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, despite representing just 0.6% of the population.  Michigan is among the few states, including New York and New Jersey, that proactively sent COVID-19 patients into these facilities, risking the lives of the elderly and infirm.

When asked to explain her nursing home policy, Whitmer has routinely suggested that she has learned more in the last 8 to 10 weeks about the coronavirus than she knew at the beginning, but the state, scientists and epidemiologists knew before the first positive COVID test in Michigan in March – long before her disastrous executive order sending COVID-19 into nursing homes – that the virus was particularly dangerous for seniors.

The Michigan Freedom Fund’s initial billboards are located in particularly high-traffic areas, including Lansing, on I-96 and US 131 in Grand Rapids, and multiple locations in Oakland County.

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