State Rep. Thomas Albert today supported a plan to rectify the governor’s fatal error that may have contributed to the COVID-related deaths of at least some of the nearly 2,000 nursing home residents who have died in Michigan.
Albert, of Lowell, said the mandate to put COVID-19 patients into long-term care facilities alongside uninfected residents was decided by the governor alone, without any legislative input. The governor has refused to end the policy, despite evidence that it could be putting thousands of more lives at risk.
“Nearly 2,000 COVID-19 related deaths in Michigan, or about a third overall, have been residents of nursing homes.” Albert said. “With all we know now it is insanity that Governor Whitmer continues to force nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients. This policy has very likely caused people to die and is most definitely putting our parents and grandparents at great risk.”
The plan requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Department (DHHS), along with the state department for Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to complete an evaluation and report of the current policies regarding COVID-19 patients and nursing homes by Aug. 15.
Additionally, the legislation requires DHHS to develop and implement a new plan by Sept. 1 creating at least one dedicated regional facility within each of the state’s eight health regions for use as COVID-19 patient facilities.
Finally, Senate Bill 956, unlike the governor’s plan, protects nursing home residents by prohibiting the placement of individuals with COVID-19 in any long-term care facility unless it has a separate dedicated building where infected patients can be properly cared for while quarantined.
“Governor Whitmer’s dismissal of criticism about DHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel’s out-of-state travel over spring break is another example of why her administration has a credibility problem when it comes to the state’s COVID-19 response. It’s another example of hypocrisy and failed leadership.
Rep. Thomas Albert, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, issued a statement today after the governor vetoed Senate Bills 29 and 114. The measures included $405 million to support struggling job providers, $150 million to support the unemployment system, $10 million to help families cover costs of summer school tutoring and transportation, and $87 million […]