COVID-19

Lawmakers grill state official over handling of nursing homes during pandemic

Republican lawmakers argue the governor's policies hurt nursing home residents. Official says the data shows differently.

State lawmakers questioned the state’s public health chief for several hours Wednesday over the state’s management of nursing homes during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Republican lawmakers allege the state forced nursing homes to house residents who had tested positive for COVID-19, then failed to adequately protect them resulting in unnecessary deaths.

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Robert Gordon is the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). He answered questions from the legislature’s Joint Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In the often tense and partisan hearing, Republican lawmakers described the state’s handling of nursing homes as “disappointing and reckless.”

“The Whitmer administration’s policies put coronavirus infected patients in nursing homes, threatening the lives of other seniors and health care staff,” said Senator Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton.

“To the extent our nursing home policies mattered, they reduced deaths compared to other states,” said Gordon, citing statistics that show COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents falls below the national average.

You can read more at Bridge Michigan.

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