Michigan Dem Lawmaker Sounds Off on Whitmer's Nursing Home Order

Posted: May 12, 2020 5:00 PM
Michigan Dem Lawmaker Sounds Off on Whitmer's Nursing Home Order

Source: Michigan Office of the Governor via AP

There's been a lot to criticize when it comes to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus response. Her draconian and arbitrary stay-at-home restrictions, for one, have drawn ire from several lawmakers and law enforcement officials. She banned the purchase of gardening tools, for goodness' sake.

But that's not all. Whitmer's unpopular nursing home policy that places COVID-positive seniors among healthy seniors, is just as curious. The COVID-positive individuals were brought to “regional hubs,” nursing homes where the state says there has to be separation of the COVID-19 positive and negative patients, after being discharged from the hospital.

Democrat state representative Leslie Love recently condemned the measure.

“To return seniors into an environment, seniors with the virus still recovering from the virus, into an environment with, well, seniors, just didn’t seem - it’s not a good idea,” Love said.

It's a personal issue for her. Love shared that her own grandmother is in a nursing home, and she's worried about the virus spreading in her facility.

“That would break my heart because I’ve been on the front lines of this, trying to make sure our seniors - my mother, your mother, anybody else’s mother - does not get sick and die from this, particularly if they’re in a nursing home,” she explained.

It's not a farfetched fear. After a Sterling Heights senior care center accepted two dozen coronavirus patients, they experienced a spike in cases.

Gov. Whitmer is struggling to even answer questions about it. When asked at a recent press conference if she planned to alter the policy, she stepped away from the podium and let Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' chief medical executive, provide a non-answer about how they're concerned about those residents as well and they plan to ramp up testing in those facilities.

"The Whitmer administration is needlessly exposing vulnerable individuals in nursing homes to COVID-19 while field hospitals close and traditional hospitals lay-off staff. It's time to end this policy and protect the most vulnerable among us with science-based and common-sense solutions," said Tori Sachs, executive director of Michigan Rising Action.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was criticized for weeks about his own dangerous nursing home policy in the Empire State, until he finally made some changes this week. Still, it may have been too late for many families, including Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, whose husband lost both his parents in a nursing home coronavirus outbreaks. She held the governor responsible.

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