The state of Michigan is facing lawsuits whose plaintiffs are seeking information on Governor Whitmer’s executive orders regarding nursing homes.
Whitmer could soon find herself under very similar scrutiny faced by fellow Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, according to the team taking legal action against Whitmer. Plaintiffs Steve Delie and Charlie LeDuff highlighted the purpose of their lawsuit in an article published on Friday by USA Today. In the USA Today article, the pair wrote, “It shouldn’t take a lawsuit to obtain this critical data. Gov. Whitmer made the same policy choice as Gov. Cuomo, forcing contagious senior citizens into close proximity with other medically vulnerable people. In fact, her policy, a similar version of which is still in effect today, went even farther, forcing some non-senior patients into nursing homes, including a 20-year-old. Michigan citizens deserve to know why she did this, and whether our governor is telling the truth about the consequences.”
Whitmer issued her executive order on April 15, 2020, which is just a few weeks after Cuomo had issued his executive order. The pair also stated the under-reported cases and deaths in New York nursing homes. They said cases were under-reported by 40 percent while deaths were under-reported by 75 percent, while citing an article written by The Associated Press. According to conservative commentator Steven Crowder, Michigan has failed to report all nursing home deaths. Crowder said that only 1/10th of all senior care facilities in the state were recorded in the death toll. Both Delie and LeDuff stated that under Michigan law, Whitmer is exempt from Freedom of Information laws. “Thanks to this exemption, the governor [Whitmer] has no obligation to produce any records whatsoever, despite making decisions affecting the lives of every Michigander,” the pair writes. Delie and LeDuff alleged that Whitmer used her exemption to “act with impunity.”
Earlier this month Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel declined the Republicans request to investigate the Michigan nursing home-related actions taken by Whitmer. “I appreciate that you and your colleagues have policy disagreements with Gov. Whitmer’s response to COVID-19, but an investigation by my office is not the mechanism to resolve those disagreements.” Republicans in Michigan have condemned the governor’s actions of allowing nursing home residents recovering from the virus to return to the homes. Republicans stated that such actions put healthy residents at risk. Since the beginning of the pandemic it has been known that elderly individuals were at the highest risk.
According to data from the CDC, over 80 percent of all COVID-19 deaths have occurred in individuals aged 65 and above.
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ARTICLE: DUSTIN RODGERS
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEWSWEEK