Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration drastically undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths in the state, according to a state auditor general report reviewed by Fox News.
The damning report, which is expected to be released on Monday, reveals suspicious similarities to how former Democrat governor Andrew Cuomo hid nursing home deaths in New York.
Republican State Rep. Steven Johnson, the chairman of the Michigan House Oversight Committee, spoke with Fox News Digital in a telephone interview on Thursday. Whitmer [like Cuomo] is “well known” for her executive order “to place COVID-positive patients into nursing homes,” Johnson said. Read More
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo started 2022 much like he ended 2021, with an apparent legal victory.
A lawyer for the disgraced ex-leader of the state said Monday that the Manhattan district attorney’s office ended its investigation into the Cuomo administration’s nursing home policies during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis without pressing any charges.
“I was told that after a thorough investigation – as we have said all along – there was no evidence to suggest any laws were broken,” Elkan Abramowitz, former outside counsel for the executive chamber, said in a statement posted by Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi on Twitter. Read More
A North Oaks nursing home rejected a Catholic employee’s request for a vaccine exemption despite granting exemptions to employees of other faiths, a complaint filed Monday claims.
Daniel Reinke, a sales and marketing manager at Brookdale Senior Living Center in North Oaks, says he was placed on unpaid leave and threatened with termination when he refused to get vaccinated for COVID-19 on religious grounds.
“I sincerely believe that receiving an injection produced, developed, or tested using human cell lines derived from direct abortions is sinful. All three available vaccines in the United States were tested, developed, or produced using these cell lines. I believe that abortion is a mortal sin, and any act supporting it, such as receiving the COVID-19 injection, would make me complicit in the act of abortion,” Reinke says in a charge of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Read More
Minnesota long-term care facilities like nursing homes and memory care centers say they’re in an impossible situation.
President Joe Biden unveiled a mandate last month that effectively requires U.S. employers to make their workers receive the coronavirus vaccine or face termination. This is likely to force a significant portion of workers in long-term care facilities out of their jobs. However, the industry can’t afford to lose more staff as it’s already overburdened and unable to provide care for patients amid a labor shortage.
“There is going to be a mass exodus” of workers, warned Natalie Zeleznikar, a nursing home administrator and executive. Read More
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on Georgia’s long-term care facilities, officials said.
Devon Barill, communications director for the Georgia Health Care Association and Georgia Center for Assisted Living (GHCA/GCAL), said the facilities have faced increased expenses and revenue losses from caring for the state’s most vulnerable population.
While COVID-19 can lead to severe complications in older people and those with underlying issues, the congregated facilities are often home to the elderly and people who require supportive care. Read More
ulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff says Michigan has undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
The accusation follows a settlement between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and LeDuff with legal services provided by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. LeDuff and the MCPP sued the government when it failed to provide public records as required by law.
“This data is an essential part of accurately understanding the effects of this pandemic and the public policy implemented in response,” Steve Delie, an attorney and the Mackinac Center’s FOIA expert, said in a May 21 statement. “It also leaves open the possibility that the state is undercounting the number of deaths of those in nursing homes.” Read More
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff has reached a settlement with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to gain access to data on the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths in the state.
The health department agreed to release some of the public records LeDuff requested. The department also acknowledges it can’t determine if some patients killed by COVID-19 contracted the virus at a nursing home or other long-term care facility.
LeDuff sued March 9 after submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for data on COVID-19 deaths but the MDHHS failed to produce the requested records. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation represented him.
“We stood up to Goliath and won,” LeDuff said in a statement. “While I’m pleased that some of the records were released, the state’s overall response is alarming and disappointing. Still, this is a win for the people of Michigan, and I’m glad this lawsuit was able to shed some light.” Read More
Fully vaccinated staff members of long-term care facilities and nursing homes will no longer be required to undergo routine testing for COVID-19, according to a new health order signed on Tuesday. Read More
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is encouraging nursing homes in the states to open for compassionate care visits for residents who have been struggling during the pandemic. Read More
For the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan started counting additional long-term care category deaths from SARS-CoV-2.
Long-term care deaths account for 35% of the state’s total COVID-19 death toll. Read More
Although Ohio is allowing indoor visitation at nursing homes for the first time in months, some are still having trouble seeing their loved ones.
Melissa Ackison, 42, said she was forced to wear a mask to visit her grandmother, despite her having a medical exemption. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Wednesday evening signed Executive Order 2020-191, tweaking long-term care rules and applying some recommendations from the Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force.
The order evolves from Whitmer’s old long-term care strategy of 21 Regional Hubs to a “second generation” of care called Care and Recovery Centers (CRC) dedicated to isolating COVID-19 residents. Read More
The Civil Right Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested information about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes from the state of Michigan.
The request, made on Wednesday, will help the department determine if it will open up an investigation under the federal Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, which will identify if the state orders requiring coronavirus-positive patients to be admitted to nursing homes were responsible for the deaths of residents. Read More
Executive Director of Michigan Rising Action Tori Sachs criticized the timeline of the state’s coronavirus task force on Wednesday.
The Michigan Nursing Home COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force — which includes 13 members, several leaders from state health and regulatory departments, and state legislators — has until August 31 to present a plan to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for “any future wave of COVID-19 cases by developing an action plan based on timely and high-quality data,” according to the executive order that created the task force in June. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday announced that she had appointed 13 health industry and medical professionals to the Michigan Nursing Home COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force.
In addition to the 13 members appointed by Whitmer, the task force also includes Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon or his designee, Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Orlene Hawks or her designee, Michigan State Long Term Care Ombudsman Salli Pung, State Sens. Rosemary Bayer (D-12-Oakland) and Curt VanderWall (R-35-Benzie) and State Reps. Leslie Love (D-10- Redford) and Hank Vaupel (R-47-Livingston). Read More
The Michigan House of Representatives approved a concurrent resolution on Thursday demanding transparency from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer about information related to the coronavirus in Michigan and officially opposing her coronavirus nursing home policies.
Michigan only recently began publishing data about coronavirus cases and deaths in the state’s long-term care facilities like nursing homes. Read More
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is now providing data about the confirmed cases of coronavirus in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes on its website.
During a reporting period between June 3 and June 10, 98 percent of skilled nursing facilities in Michigan gave reports on the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in their facilities, according to the MDHHS website. The numbers are expected to be updated daily. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer left out information on nursing homes and other long-term care residential facilities during her testimony about the coronavirus to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce on Tuesday.
The state’s decision to place people diagnosed with the novel coronavirus into nursing homes has been met with harsh criticism, especially as the state continues to not track or report data related to deaths in those facilities. Read More
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is wrong to say his state was following the Trump administration’s guidance when ordering nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients from hospitals, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator (CMS) Seema Verma said Wednesday.
“Under no circumstances should a hospital discharge a patient to a nursing home that’s not prepared to take care of those patients’ needs,” Verma said on Fox News Radio. “The federal guidelines are absolutely clear about this.” Read More
Infection prevention and control deficiencies were widespread across most of the country’s nursing homes before the coronavirus outbreak, a watchdog group reported Thursday.
More than 82% of the United States’ 15,500 nursing homes were cited for infection prevention and control deficiencies between 2013 and 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) wrote in a blog post Thursday. Read More
Amy Lynn Twyman Smith is the executive director of an assisted living network in Newark, Ohio. Her father died when she was 10 years old. Growing up, she was close with her father’s mother, who eventually developed Alzheimer’s disease. Amy saw first-hand just how important quality care was for her grandmother and her family. Her connection with her grandmother cultivated a passion in Amy that led her to work in assisted living for the entirety of her career.
“It can be hard on families,” she expressed. “I want our care to be the most wonderful experience anyone could have. And especially for our residents, I want every day to be wonderful, as if it was their last.” Read More
A Grand Jury in Franklin County has indicted seven nurses – formerly employed by Whetstone Gardens and Care Center in Columbus – on a litany of charges surrounding the mistreatment of multiple nursing home patients in 2017. Six employed nurses and one contracted nurse practitioner have been indicted on 34 separate… Read More