It’s clear to everyone that the biggest mistake made by governors as the coronavirus spread throughout the country was forcing nursing homes to accept infected patients. Clear to everyone, it seems, but Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The Democrat recently vetoed a bill passed by the Republican legislature that would prevent nursing homes from accepting infected patients and place them in separate facilities to reduce the risk of spread among the elderly. Whitmer said that the bill was based on a “false premise” that nursing homes can’t care for infected and noninfected populations in the same facilities.
Over 2,000 nursing home residents and staff have died from the virus in Michigan, representing about one-third of the state’s death toll. Whitmer has insisted that Michigan is doing no worse than similar states, but the numbers tell a different story.
According to the New York Times, Michigan ranks 10th overall in total nursing home deaths from the coronavirus. Of all the states above them, only Connecticut has had fewer overall nursing home cases. Michigan’s nursing home death count is similar to that of Florida and Texas, despite them being much larger states with over 1,000 more care facilities than Michigan.
Even New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the poster boy for failed nursing home policy, backtracked on his foolish order in May. Whitmer’s continued refusal to admit her mistake and reverse course is the latest in her ongoing train wreck of a response.
Whitmer’s been dismissive of the economic concerns of Michigan residents while using her authority to arbitrarily ban the sale of things such as gardening supplies and paint. She defied her own social distancing orders by marching side by side with protesters after George Floyd’s death but condemned protests against the lockdowns because they would spread the virus.
It’s impossible to know if Whitmer’s insolence is a consequence of her now-fading chances of being selected as Joe Biden’s running mate, but the damage she’s done to the state of Michigan is not in question. Whitmer’s refusal to reverse her policy on nursing homes goes from harmful ignorance to willful endangerment with this veto, and she must be held accountable for it.
Author: Zachary Faria
Source: Washington Examiner: Gretchen Whitmer refuses to stop sending infected patients to Michigan’s nursing homes