State Rep. Andrew Beeler (R-Port Huron) today demanded a federal investigation into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s controversial COVID-19 nursing home policies that have put long-term care residents and staff in danger.
Beeler joined 48 other legislators who are formally requesting that U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson in Washington, D.C. immediately conduct a full investigation into the Whitmer administration’s handling of COVID-19 mitigation within nursing homes, data used to craft decisions, and adherence to CDC/CMS guidelines while her policies have been implemented.
“Going back to the first outbreak reported in the United States at a long-term care facility in Washington state, we knew elderly populations were more at risk of COVID-19 infection,” Beeler said. “Gov. Whitmer had the science and the data indicating that, but proceeded with a policy that placed positive patients in the same facility with healthy residents. This increased the chance of spread. We need answers on why these decisions were made and why people were needlessly put at risk.”
Executive Order 50 of 2020 required some long-term care facilities to admit residents who had tested positive for the virus, regardless of whether those residents may have still been contagious. The Health Care Association of Michigan sent a letter to Gov. Whitmer last March strongly recommending new, vacant and unlicensed facilities as quarantine centers in order to mitigate spread. The recommendation was ignored.
The letter also asks Wilkinson to examine a $155,506 separation agreement payment made to former Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon. Gordon issued many health directives after a Michigan Supreme Court decision limited Gov. Whitmer’s ability to extend emergency declarations. The directives, which largely mirrored the governor’s original executive orders in response to COVID-19, impacted lives and livelihoods throughout the state, including those in nursing homes.
“It’s unacceptable that the governor and her administration have not been transparent to the people,” Beeler continued. “We are asking for that transparency through this investigation. People want a state government they know they can trust and one that is truly working for them, not one that is giving out six-figures payments made up of their hard-earned money to unelected officials behind closed doors.”