U.S. Senators Call for Investigation into Michigan and Other States that Sent COVID Patients to Nursing Homes

Republican members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Friday urged that committee’s chair to commence an investigation into the decisions of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) and several other governors to discharge COVID-19-infected patients into their states’ nursing homes in 2020.

In addition to Whitmer, Tom Wolf (D-PA), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and Phil Murphy (D-NJ) are specifically criticized in the letter written to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL).

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Prosecutor Says Whitmer Could Face Criminal Charges over Nursing Home Deaths

Facing a situation similar to New York’s embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is now under scrutiny from prosecutors about COVID-19 deaths in Michigan’s nursing homes. 

“If we find there’s been willful neglect of office if we find there’s been reckless endangerment of a person’s life by bringing them in then we would move forward with charges against the Governor,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido told WXZY. “Of course, we would. Nobody’s above the law in this state.”

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Fifty Michigan Lawmakers Ask Feds to Investigate Gov. Whitmer’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Policies

State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, and 50 Republican lawmakers on Wednesday formally asked for a federal investigation into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s controversial policy that placed COVID-19 positive patients into Michigan nursing homes.

The letter follows the exposure of a $155,506 secret taxpayer-funded payment for state health Director Robert Gordon that included a confidentiality agreement for the person responsible for crafting the state’s COVID-19 nursing home policies.

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Report: Nursing Homes See Sharp Drop in COVID Cases Since Vaccines Started

Nursing homes in the U.S. are seeing the lowest number of new COVID cases since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began tracking the data in May 2020,according to a new report from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).

The health care groups, which represent 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities in the U.S. that provide care to about five million people annually, say ythe study shows that the COVID-19 vaccines are working.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Under Fire for Nursing Home COVID Policy

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) could be the subject of an investigation regarding her handling of nursing home patients who contracted COVID-19. 

“Gov. Whitmer’s regional hub policy placed patients with and without COVID-19 in the same facilities and may have exacerbated the death toll in those facilities,” said state Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) in a press release. “Questions remain regarding the accuracy of data, compliance with CDC guidelines and compliance with our state’s Freedom of Information Act. There is a critical need for a full investigation into these matters.”

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True COVID-19 Long-Term Care Death Toll a Mystery in Michigan

Michiganders still don’t know how many lives COVID-19 claimed in all categories of long-term care facilities, although the state has been collecting the data since May 29.

Other states such as Minnesota have already reported the information, breaking down the deaths in nursing homes, memory care, and hospice facilities. 

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Gov. Cuomo Calls Criticisms of NY’s Nursing Home Deaths ‘Political’ as Damaging Reports Stack Up

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed suggestions Monday that local officials are undercounting coronavirus deaths at nursing homes while a several reports indicate the state inaccurately measured how the virus affected long-term care facilities.

New York will not conduct an investigation into nursing home deaths during the pandemic, Cuomo said during a press conference Monday. His insistence that there is no controversy comes after media reports show the state only counts people who died on nursing home property and not those who died after being transferred to hospitals.

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Gov. Whitmer Vetoes Bill Designed to Protect Nursing Home Residents

Gov. Whitmer on Friday vetoed Senate Bill 956, legislation that would have prohibited the admission of COVID-19 patients into nursing homes.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby, and was passed by the Senate on June 24. The bill was approved by the state House of Representatives on July 22.

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Gov. Cuomo’s Order Sent More Than 6,000 Coronavirus Patients into Nursing Homes, Officials Say

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s orders sent more than 6,300 coronavirus patients to nursing homes at the height of the pandemic, new numbers from state officials show.

Thousands of elderly coronavirus patients died after Cuomo issued an order March 25 mandating assisted-living facilities admit coronavirus patients, and state officials are now reporting that the number of admitted carriers is even higher than previous estimates.

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

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.

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Scrutiny Intensifies as Congressional Republicans Probe Michigan’s COVID-19 Reponse

senior citizen

Congressional Republicans intensified their questioning of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter asking Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that placed COVID-19 patients into the same buildings, but different units, as elderly nursing home residents.

They also sought investigations into four other state governors who set similar policies.

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U.S Republicans Ask Nessel to Investigate Whitmer’s COVID-19 Policy; Whitmer Creates Nursing Home Task Force

Congressional Republicans intensified their questioning of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter asking Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that placed COVID-19 patients into the same buildings, but different units, as elderly nursing home residents.

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House Republicans Ask Whitmer to Rescind COVID-19 Nursing Home Policy

House Republicans on Monday asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to rescind her policy that requires recovering COVID-19 patients to be placed in isolated parts of designated nursing homes.

“Nursing homes have the very frailest of our population,” Rep. Kathy Crawford, R-Novi, told The Center Square. “Very many of them are bedridden. Nursing homes don’t have enough staff to take care of the daily needs of people who are in nursing homes.”

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Medicare to Ratchet up Enforcement Against Nursing Homes as Coronavirus Fatalities Exceed 25,000

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled enhanced enforcement actions on Monday against nursing homes after preliminary federal data shows that at least 25,923 nursing home residents across the country have died from coronavirus.

“This data, and anecdotal reports across the country, clearly show that nursing homes have been devastated by the virus,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma and Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield wrote in a letter to U.S. governors on Sunday.

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Health Care Group: It Would Cost $440 Million to Provide 3 Million Tests for All Nursing Home Residents and Workers

Testing every nursing home resident and care facility worker in the U.S. for COVID-19 would cost $440 million in federal and state funding, a health care group found. 

Doing so would require almost 3 million tests, according to the American Health Care Association’s National Center for Assisted Living, an industry group representing nursing homes and assisted living centers that calculated how much it would cost for states to receive adequate funding so all resident and care facility workers could be tested.

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Cuomo Reverses, Says Nursing Homes Can Refuse COVID-Positive Patients

Gov. Andrew Cuomo partially reversed a March executive order Sunday that prevented nursing homes from denying admission of patients who tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Patients must now test negative for the virus before hospitals can admit them to assisted living facilities, Cuomo said during an Albany press briefing Sunday.

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