Republicans ask for federal investigation into Whitmer’s COVID-19 nursing home policies
They also want the Justice Department to look at separation agreement with top health official who resigned
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Several Republicans in the State House are asking for a federal investigation into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s policies for nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson, the lawmakers claim Whitmer’s policies put long-term care facility residents and staff in danger. They are asking the U.S. Justice Department to look at data Whitmer used to craft policies and whether they comply with federal guidelines.
“The governor employed a misguided policy that placed positive patients in the same facility as healthy residents, increasing the spread of the virus and ultimately having fatal consequences,” said Republican State Rep. Phil Green of Millington. “The people deserve to know the reasoning behind the governor’s decisions that put Michigan seniors needlessly at risk.”
Whitmer’s executive order 50 of 2020 required some long-term care facilities to admit residents who tested positive for COVID-19 regardless of whether they were contagious.
Republicans also are asking the Justice Department to investigate the separation agreement for former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon. He resigned abruptly on Jan. 22 and later signed an agreement providing him a $155,000 payout.
Sarah Esty, a deputy director working under Gordon, also signed a separation agreement, along with former Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Steve Gray. Gray received an $86,000 payout after he left his position last fall.
Whitmer has not said why Gordon, Esty and Gray left their positions. She has cited confidentiality clauses in the separation agreements.
“The people of Michigan need greater transparency from the governor,” Green said. “That’s what this investigation will provide. The governor owes taxpayers answers as to why their dollars were used in an apparent cover-up scheme.”
The following Mid-Michigan Republican state lawmakers all signed the letter to Wilkinson:
- Timothy Beson of Bay City.
- Graham Filler of Clinton County.
- Ben Frederick of Owosso.
- Annette Glenn of Midland.
- Phil Green of Millington.
- Roger Hauck of Mount Pleasant.
- David Martin of Davison.
- Pat Outman of Six Lakes.
- Rodney Wakeman of Saginaw Township.
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