A local Michigan prosecutor has signaled that Governor Gretchen Whitmer may face criminal charges over the state’s COVID-19 nursing home policy.
New Macomb County prosecutor Peter Lucido is encouraging those who lost family members to COVID while residents or staff inside nursing homes to obtain the information surrounding their deaths and bring it to the police as a wrongful death complaint. Due to HIPAA laws, Lucido says he cannot obtain that information on his own.
In an interview with 7 Action News (WXYZ), Lucido said, “If we find there’s been willful neglect of office if we find there’s been reckless endangerment of a person’s life by bringing them in then we would move forward with charges against the Governor. Of course, we would. Nobody’s above the law in this state.”
Lucido started looking into this last year as a State Senator. He issued a statement in August that said more than 2,000 residents and 21 staff died in nursing homes, 32% of all deaths.
Lucido is asking people to go back to the nursing homes and gather the vital information surrounding deaths and take it to local police to file a wrongful death report.
He will be meeting with Macomb County Police to instruct them on how to process and verify the information and bring it to his office.
“Why did my mom or why did my dad, brother, sister, or aunt die? Was it because of the policy by bringing in COVID-infected patients that spread to my mom that killed my mother?” Lucido said.
Whitmer issued the following response to WXYZ:
Our top priority from the start has been protecting Michiganders, especially seniors and our most vulnerable. The administration’s policies carefully tracked CDC guidance on nursing homes, and we prioritized testing of nursing home residents and staff to save lives. 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.
Mr. Lucido’s comments are shameful political attacks based in neither fact nor reality. Even his former colleague, Republican Sen. Ed McBroom, has said they “have not seen any evidence or testimony that says that a nursing home was forced to take someone against their will.” And there’s a reason why Mr. Lucido’s colleagues have publicly rebuked this politically-motivated waste of taxpayer dollars. Michiganders are tired of these petty partisan games, and we won’t be distracted by them either.
Report: Cuomo Admin Being Investigated by U.S. Attorney, FBI Over COVID-19 Response
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is reportedly being investigated by the US Attorney’s office in Brooklyn and the FBI over his coronavirus task force’s response to the pandemic.
According to the Albany Times Union, the investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office is in its early stages and focuses on the work of “some of the senior members of the governor’s task force.”
The Times Union reports:
Nearly three weeks after the governor’s task force was announced last year, the state health department issued an order directing nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that they must accept residents who were being discharged from hospitals even if they were still testing positive for the infectious disease, as long as they were able to care for them properly.
That directive, which was rescinded less than two months later, has been the focus of a firestorm of criticism directed at Cuomo’s administration, including allegations that the order — which the governor said was based on federal guidance — had contributed to the high number of fatalities of nursing home residents in New York. That assertion was largely dismissed in a report by the Department of Health that was released in July.
In January, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a report which concluded the Cuomo Administration delayed reporting that thousands of nursing home patients died after getting infected at their facilities and that New York’s nursing home policy may have increased COVID infections.
Last night, CNN issued a statement that it’s host Chris Cuomo, who is the brother of the governor, will no longer be covering the administration after offering the New York leader fawning coverage of his COVID-19 response for months after the pandemic began.
For the full report, click HERE.
Nursing Home Places 6,500 Copies Of Cuomo’s Book In Casket To Protest COVID-19 Policies
In a visually powerful display, one Brooklyn nursing home sent a message to Governor Andrew Cuomo. The nursing home filled a casket with 6,500 copies of the Governor’s book to represent the “number of people who’ve died from the coronavirus, due to his administration’s policies regarding sick senior citizens” reported Fox News. According to The New York Post, 6,500 people were reported to have been killed by COVID-19 in New York nursing homes.
Amongst the criticism is that in March, Cuomo mandated nursing homes shall not deny readmission or admission “solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.” Therefore, nursing home residents were not being protected from COVID entering the facilities.
If that weren’t upsetting enough to those who lost elderly loved ones due to the pandemic, “The New York health website later deleted the order, and the web page that once contained it now directs users to a page saying that the file is ‘not found” reported Fox News.
At a press briefing on Sunday, Cuomo didn’t have much remorse about his policies: “But can anyone say that a virus that targets the weak and the seniors, [that] we can keep them safe? Nobody can say that” said Cuomo. He added the only way to protect the vulnerable population would be to put nursing homes in “a hermetically sealed bubble.”
Just days ago, “a federal judge ruled that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus-related restrictions are allowable, despite acknowledgment that continued limitations will make the economic recovery more difficult” reports Fox News. Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan said Cuomo’s guidelines may even “turn New York City into a very different, even desolate, place compared to how it was before the pandemic,’ but he declined to grant a preliminary injunction against rules that prohibit restaurants from serving food after midnight. Indoor dining is also restricted to 25% capacity as of Sept. 30.”