LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn has joined some of his Senate colleagues in calling for full state and federal investigations into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its relation to the governor’s nursing home policy.
Zorn signed on to separate letters sent Wednesday to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson making the requests.
“Instead of doing everything possible to protect our most vulnerable residents from the virus, the governor’s policies put patients with and without COVID-19 in the same facilities — with deadly consequences,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I’m deeply concerned about the governor’s silence about what happened, the accuracy of the reported numbers of nursing home cases and deaths, and whether the situation has been addressed to protect our at-risk seniors.
“A full investigation is even more important in the wake of the controversary in New York, where federal officials are looking into Gov. Cuomo’s handling of the nursing homes in that state during the coronavirus outbreak.”
The letters state that COVID-19 cases and deaths among the elderly have soared over the last year. The administration has been questioned repeatedly about unintended consequences of the governor’s policies and discrepancies in the reported numbers of cases and deaths in the state’s long-term care facilities. It has now come to the senators’ attention that these reporting errors have likely not been resolved.
The letter to Nessel formally requested the attorney general immediately open a full investigation to review the critical matters, including:
• The processes and policies that may have contributed to the spread of the virus among our most vulnerable nursing home residents across the state;
• The accuracy of the data reported by the administration, taking into consideration the discrepancies in facility reporting policies as identified in the letter, to include the failure of some nursing homes to cite cases when a positive result comes back after a transfer to a hospital;
• Compliance with all CDC guidelines and reporting requirements; and
• Compliance with Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act.