Michigan AG Nessel Will Comply with U.S. House ‘Partisan’ Request to Investigate Whitmer’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Policies

by Bruce Walker


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel defiantly responded to a letter from U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., regarding the number of nursing home deaths in the state attributed to COVID-19.

Scalise is ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Coronavirus. His June 25 letter – also signed by Reps. Jim Jordan, R- Ohio; Blaine Luetkeymer, R-Mo.; and Jackie Walorski, R-Ind. – followed a similar letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to which she did not respond.

In the subcommittee letter, which was also sent to four attorneys general in other states (New York, New Jersey, California and Pennsylvania; all states with Democratic governors), the Congressional members requested Nessel investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that housed COVID-19 patients in the same long-term care facilities as elderly nursing home residents.

Nessel’s June 29 response indicates the subcommittee’s letter was motivated by partisanship.

“While I appreciate and share your concern for the impact of COVID-19 on the health and safety of our elderly population, I am curious as to why similar requests have not been sent to states with Republican Governors,” she wrote.

Nessel also noted she found “troubling” the “context” of the subcommittee’s letter.

“You begin by saying that you ‘understand that [my] investigation will not cover the Governor’s April 15, 2020 order….’ You then ask that my ‘current review’ include certain topics and that I produce to the subcommittee all information and documents related to my investigation.”

Nessel continued: “I am surprised that this subcommittee would send such a request to my office without first verifying the things that form the basis for your letter (for e.g. whether my office is in fact investigating and the scope of our alleged investigation).”

Nessel wrote she was “deeply troubled” the subcommittee only seemed worried about residents of long-term facilities in four specific states and “does not extend to all the nation’s elderly.”

Nessel noted Michigan had fewer numbers of  COVID-19 cases in elderly care facilities than Louisiana, Ohio, Georgia and Texas, but the subcommittee did not send letters to the attorneys general of those states. She also stated Illinois, Massachusetts and Connecticut – states with Democratic governors – also reported higher numbers of COVID-19 cases in long-term residential facilities than Michigan.

“[S]ending a congressional inquiry only to one’s political opponents appears designed to produce salacious headlines rather than measurable results,” Nessel wrote.

The Democratic attorney general stated she wouldn’t conduct a criminal investigation of Whitmer’s executive orders based on her perception of the subcommittee’s partisanship.

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Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.



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One Thought to “Michigan AG Nessel Will Comply with U.S. House ‘Partisan’ Request to Investigate Whitmer’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Policies”

  1. b.j.s.

    I am grateful for Dana Nessel’s response to them! But Why are they not investigating the way the elderly are treated during the pandemic as well, for ALL the nation’s elderly. Recently patients at Pilgrim Manor, and Samaritas, elder care centers in Grand Rapids were given lying notes by ‘therapy staff’ that visitors were coming, even deceased loved ones telling them to go wait in their rooms for a visit when no visit was coming! No one can visit b/c of the pandemic. The Attorney General did investigate this at Pilgrim Manor, and the lying notes were stopped, Thank God!. But now they are blocking incoming calls, so that no one can get through. The call gets sent to the nursing station, and the call either rings forever and just goes dead (gets hung up) or the line goes dead and does not connect. When I used a different cell phone sometimes my call did go though! So now they are blocking the calls, and I am unable to call and speak to my loved one! It costs thousands of dollars a month for the family member to stay there, and now I can’t even call! It might take 3 days before I can get through. No one can visit b/c of the pandemic, and this is how disrespectfully and rudely they treat the elderly and their families! People can’t call and speak to their loved ones with out a huge hassle, it may take 3 to 4 days to get through, for they keep hanging up the phone, or it rings and rings and is never answered and then picked up and hung up! This is preposterous and an outrage! It is bad enough we cant’ visit b/c of the pandemic, but now the calls get blocked or cut off! Please investigate this! The elderly who are trapped in elder care facilities across the nation during the pandemic are counting on phone calls to cheer them up, and they are blocking family from being able to call in some areas! They did sex experiments on some elderly patients at a nursing home in Iowa! What is going on! Unscrupulous people are taking advantage of the pandemic to cruelly treat the elderly and their families, b/c no one can visit and find out what is going on behind closed doors!