The Michigan House Oversight Committee formally asked the state auditor general to investigate how Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) administration accounted for coronavirus-related nursing home deaths.
At a hearing last week, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel told the committee that deaths “could be” undercounted.
“We do not know because we don’t know what’s occurring in those facilities,” she told the committee chairman, State Rep. Steve Johnson (R).
As the hearing concluded, Johnson said he would consider asking the Michigan auditor general to look into the data.
On Thursday, Johnson sent a letter to the Office of the Auditor General asking it to “perform a review to provide a comprehensive study or reported and unreported deaths in long-term care facilities in Michigan.”
Specifically, the letter is asking the auditor general, Doug A. Ringler, for:
- a review of the DHHS processes and procedures for obtaining death reports from long-term care facilities
- a review of the vital records reports that DHHS at one time cross-checked with long-term care facility records
- a comprehensive review of all death records to see if nursing homes are correctly self-reporting their death numbers
- a proper accounting of all long-term care facility deaths to include homes for the aged and adult foster care facilities.
“We need a more comprehensive evaluation of how many people died due to the governor’s disastrous decision to place COVID-positive patients in nursing homes,” Johnson told Breitbart News.
“We don’t trust the Department to give us an accurate count and are hopeful that the auditor general can provide the people of Michigan with the truth,” he added.
To date, MDHHS claims 29 percent of coronavirus-related deaths occurred in nursing homes, or about 5,600, according to Bridge. But independent journalist Charlie LeDuff reported a review of vital records from March 2020 to June 2020 that found 44 percent “were traced back to nursing homes and other long-term facilities.”
An MDHHS spokesman told LeDuff the review was stopped because it was too “time-consuming.”