Multiple Michigan lawmakers are demanding answers to a report from the Michigan Office of the Auditor General that detailed thousands of additional COVID-related deaths in long-term care facilities across the state.
The analysis discovered more than 2,000 additional deaths than reported by Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Department of Health and Human Services.
“It raises troubling questions that demand answers. I’m going to demand those answers for every Michigan resident who has lost a loved one to COVID-19 in a nursing home, and for every Michigan resident who lives in one today,” explained State Representative Annette Glenn (R-Midland).
“What mistakes were made leading to this tragic loss of life? What can be done to ensure nothing like this ever happens again? What policies and procedures must be changed to better protect our loved ones? And why were these deaths so underreported? We’ve had questions like these since the beginning of the pandemic, and this audit will help us sharpen the focus of our work moving forward.”
In an attempt to discredit the work of the auditor general, Whitmer’s administration challenged the methodology used to locate the undiscovered deaths.
Some lawmakers called for an investigation into the matter.
“The loss of so many long-term care residents to COVID-19 has been disheartening, and accurate information about these deaths is critical to a complete understanding of the situation,” said Rep. John Reilly (R-Oakland Township). “I do not take the sizable discrepancy found by the auditor general lightly. Survivors, family members and the general public deserve a full account, and the Legislature must thoroughly review the data and the health department’s work.”
Previously, leaders across the state questioned Whitmer’s decision to allow positive coronavirus patients to be accepted into nursing homes.
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Annette Glenn” by State Representative Annette Glenn. Photo “John Reilly” by Representative John Reilly. Background Photo “Nursing Home Beds” by 1662222.