State Senator Lucido calls for investigation in Governor Whitmer's nursing home orders

Posted at 7:06 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 21:35:28-04

(WXYZ) — A state senator is demanding an investigation into the Governors orders about nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Why would you want to bring in an infected COVID19 patient where the most vulnerable people in the state are living,” said State Senator Pete Lucido (R-Shelby Twp.).

Lucido said he’s demanding an investigation into why nursing homes were forced to accept patients who tested positive for COVID19.

“I definitely want an investigation opened on this subject matter,” said Lucido during an interview Tuesday.

The Macomb County republican says Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order required all long-term care facilities at less than 80% capacity to create COVID19 units and accept patients. Now he’s asking Michigan’s Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney for Michigan’s Eastern District to investigate whether that endangered nursing home residents.

“Why did we have this order, when medical personnel themselves are saying that the most unsafe position you could put the ones who are vulnerable in is bringing COVID into the facility,” said Lucido.

Governor Whitmer told 7 Action News today that her order did not force nursing homes to accept those patients.

“We’ve not mandated that they accept these patients. What we have done is said, if you are going to, you need to have a plan to keep these patients isolated from the rest of the nursing home population. And that’s something that’s really important,” said Gov. Whitmer.

But Senator Lucido says he’s concerned patients were not properly isolated, especially because nursing homes don’t have the same safety protocols as hospitals for their ventilation systems.

He’s also demanding answers on why the state doesn’t have accurate figures on the number of COVID19 deaths inside nursing homes.

“We have an obligation to report death tolls, from our state health department, from our county health departments, why are we not getting these numbers,” said Lucido.

Senator Lucido says the most recent numbers he’s seen show nearly 1500 deaths from nursing homes in Southeast Michigan.

The issue will continue to be debated Wednesday during an oversight committee hearing in Lansing.

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