Report reveals uncounted deaths in Michigan’s nursing homes
Auditors discovered 2,400 more deaths.
A new report by Michigan’s Office of the Auditor General has revealed nearly 2,400 more COVID-19 deaths linked to Michigan nursing homes and long-term care facilities than initially reported by the state health department.
Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland, requested the audit citing concerns about transparency in the current administration and negligent policies causing more COVID-19 deaths for vulnerable populations. Johnson’s concerns were proven founded as the audit shows the number of deaths to be 42% higher than reported by the state health department.
Gov. Whitmer’s administration is disputing the methodology of the audit – pointing to differences in the way “long-term care deaths” was defined. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services “the analysis combines COVID-19 deaths in facilities that were required to report and those that were not required to report, creating the impression of a larger undercount by long-term care facilities than is warranted.”
Michigan’s chief medical executive Natasha Bagdasarian – a newcomer to the administration – stated that the pandemic has shown us that “tough choices have to be made” while learning about the virus and that it is difficult to “second-guess some of those decisions that were made early on in the pandemic when, again, we were still learning about the virus and learning about how it behaved in certain settings.”
It is common knowledge that viruses are especially harmful to vulnerable populations. Michiganders, especially those who lost loved ones in these facilities, deserve a frank explanation.