Auditor General Bombshell: Whitmer Admin Underreported Nursing Home Deaths by 42%

Auditor General Bombshell: Whitmer Admin Underreported Nursing Home Deaths by 42%

Freedom Fund Calls for Investigation into Whitmer's Failure to Protect Michigan's Most Vulnerable Residents

LANSING, MI – Michigan Freedom Fund Executive Director Tori Sachs today demanded Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Health Department director Elizabeth Hertel stop the spin, quit hiding data, and come clean with families of COVID-19 victims who lost their lives in Michigan nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

According to reporting last night, the state’s independent Auditor General is set to reveal next week that nursing home and long-term care fatalities were nearly 42 percent higher than Whitmer has admitted. 

"Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to import COVID-19 into our nursing homes was unscientific, and it was deadly," said Sachs. "Instead of trying to provide answers for the families who lost loved ones in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, Governor Whitmer and her administration are more concerned with political spin and covering up that they underreported deaths by 42%.

"These were people’s lives - not data points - that the Whitmer administration chose to ignore. There must be a thorough investigation and accountability for Governor Whitmer’s failure to protect Michigan’s most vulnerable residents." 

"The report, which Auditor General Doug Ringler is set to release in full next week, shows 8,061 COVID-19 deaths in the state's long-term care facilities from Jan. 1, 2020, to July 2, 2021. That number is 42 percent larger than the 5,675 deaths Whitmer's health department reported. The revelation comes nearly two years after Whitmer implemented a policy that required nursing homes to accept positive coronavirus patients who were discharged from hospitals."

Whitmer, Hertel, and the administration have repeatedly hidden and underreported nursing home COVID data. Whitmer’s office continues to slow-walk freedom of information act requests, to redact critical public records, and refused to release key information about the Governor’s decision-making process.

Early in the pandemic, Whitmer signed and repeatedly extended executive orders to intentionally import patients with COVID-19 into facilities that care for the state’s most vulnerable, aged, and infirm populations.  Her orders to import the virus into nursing homes and long-term care facilities were almost universally opposed by Democrats, Republicans, families of nursing home residents and others.

Whitmer and disgraced New York governor Andrew Cuomo were two of only a small handful of governors who chose to bring COVID patients directly into nursing homes. 

The Michigan Freedom Fund works to advance conservative ideas, hold our government accountable to taxpayers, and protect Freedom, opportunity, and workers’ Constitutional rights. For more information, please visit MichiganFreedomFund.com.

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