‘I think that number is probably—in fact, I’m confident that number is an under-count…’
These three counties, which include Detroit, report that 1,157 elderly patients have died in nursing homes due to the coronavirus.
Michigan has not accurately tracked COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, as it reports about 700 deaths in the entire state, Michigan Rising Action reported in a press release.
“I do not stand behind that number as an accurate and full accounting of COVID related nursing home deaths, and I wouldn’t want us to present it that way,” said Robert Gordon, director of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services.
“I think that number is probably—in fact, I’m confident that number is an under-count,” he said.
Last week, she extended the executive order, which places healthy patients with unhealthy patients. The order will expire this Wednesday if she does not renew it.
“We want to make sure that it is thoughtful, that it is informed by the best data that we have currently—and so that’s why it’s a shorter extension,” Whitmer said. “But we will continue.”
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the county’s reported numbers do not capture the full scope of COVID-19 nursing-home deaths.
Tony Hinojosa, 68, of Chesaning lived in a nursing home and died last Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago but was not counted in officials numbers, WDIV reported. He had Parkinson’s disease.
Brenda Hinojosa, Tony’s widow, said Whitmer’s policy led to her husband’s death.
Republican Sen. Pete Lucido sent a letter to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and U.S. Attorney General William Barr calling on them to investigate Whitmer’s policy for potential crimes.