Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has become well-known for taking a hard line when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions. But according to a new report, she may not be telling the whole truth on the topic of the pandemic.
According to Fox News, a state auditor’s report reveals that Whitmer’s administration undercounted COVID-related deaths in Michigan’s long-term care facilities by as much as 30%.
The report comes more than a year after Whitmer first signed an executive order forcing nursing homes in her state to accept residents even if they had tested positive for COVID-19.
“We’re talking about thousands of lives”
Michigan state Rep. Steven Johnson, a Republican, told Fox News on Thursday that Whitmer is “well-known” for the policy, but it’s just now becoming clear how detrimental it really was.
“And when we were looking into this to see just how deadly that policy was, the nursing home death numbers we received from the department weren’t including everything,” Johnson complained, according to Fox.
The GOP lawmaker insisted there are “some serious questions that have to be asked” following the report’s release.
“It does appear the people of Michigan were misled as to just how many nursing home deaths there were,” he told Fox.
“Seeing that it’s actually 30% higher is quite significant — we’re talking about thousands of lives that were not initially included in the department’s count,” Johnson said.
GOP lawmaker promises hearings
Johnson, who chairs the Michigan House Oversight Committee, went on to tell Fox News that he is planning to conduct hearings into the matter.
Of course, Whitmer is not the only Democratic governor to have come under scrutiny for sending sick people to live in nursing homes. In August of 202o, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would be requesting information on similar policies put in place in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
However, the New York Post reported last July that the DOJ was dropping its inquiry, a move that angered House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).
“Where is the justice for nursing home victims and their grieving families?” he demanded at the time. The question remains.