Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could face charges, according to a county prosecutor in Michigan, for her early handling of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Macomb County prosecutor, Peter Lucido, told WXYZ.com that his own investigation into nursing home deaths is limited, but if it is revealed that there was “willful neglect of office” or “reckless endangerment of a person’s life,” criminal charges could be filed.

Lucido, a former Republican state senator, urged residents of the state who may have lost loved ones in nursing homes to seek information about their deaths. According to him, HIPPAA laws prevent his office from obtaining some patient data.

Her office issued a statement to WXYZ and called Lucido’s comments “shameful political attacks based in neither fact or reality.” Her office said that one of Lucido’s former Republican colleagues admitted that they “have not seen any evidence or testimony that says that a nursing home was forced to take someone against their will.”

Michigan House Republicans Plan Gretchen Whitmer Impeachment
Michigan House Republicans Plan Gretchen Whitmer Impeachment

“The administration’s policies carefully tracked CDC guidance on nursing homes, and we prioritized testing of nursing home residents and staff to save lives,” the statement read. “Early in the pandemic, the state acted swiftly to create a network of regional hubs with isolation units and adequate PPE to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within a facility. In addition, we have offered 100 percent of nursing home resident priority access to the vaccine. Both the former head of AARP, as well as an independent U-M study, praised our work to save lives in nursing homes.”

She told CNN on Sunday that her state “released an incredible amount of data. We have followed the federal requirements. Every step of the way.”

A reporter to sue Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over nursing home coronavirus data

Last week, Charlie LeDuff, an investigative journalist from the state, told Fox News that he is suing the state’s Democrat governor after trying to for months to get answers on COVID-19-related deaths tied to nursing homes.

“You can’t get them. I’ve been asking for months,” he said. 

“The public has a right to know. Above all, the public has a need to know. We shut down the entire economy, we interrupted our children’s lives, all in the name of protecting the most vulnerable. We now know this was the institutionalized elderly. If we could not protect them, at the very least we deserve an explanation from Madam Governor,” LeDuff said. 

“If there’s something more to it than that, let’s say gross incompetence or gross negligence or gross press conferences designed to cover the facts, then she needs to answer for it. As I’ve always said, the power lies with the people, not the political parties,” he added. 

Whitmer has come under fire recently for her handling of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

13 Charged in Alleged Plot to Kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
FILE PHOTO: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer addresses the media about the flooding along the Tittabawassee River, after several dams breached, in downtown Midland, Michigan, U.S., May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Gretchen Whitmer’s ‘secret deal’ with former top health official

The Michigan Republican Party has requested that the state attorney general look into a rumored separation agreement between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her former state health department director.

Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, and her former Department of Health Director Robert Gordon “to release all information” surrounding a “secret deal” between the two after Gordon’s “abrupt” departure from his post, according to a statement released by the Michigan GOP on Tuesday.

Gordon and Whitmer’s office reportedly agreed to a $155,506 payout following Gordon’s abrupt resignation in January, with the details of his departure remaining confidential

Republicans want Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office to “immediately open up an investigation” into the deal.

They also called on the state legislature to “issue subpoenas and hold hearings to answer a very simple question — Why is Gov. Whitmer buying the silence of a former government employee, the state’s top public health official, in the middle of a global pandemic?” 

State Sen. Jim Runestad, a Republican, said the “confidentiality agreement just adds another wrinkle to the problem.”

“The administration has not been forthcoming with the data or the information surrounding their COVID policies,” Runestad continued. “The continued secrecy is troubling, and even more reason to investigate the Whitmer administration’s COVID policies.”

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