Michigan Governor Democrat Gretchen Whitmer is accused of paying hush money to the former health department director Robert Gordon. One month after announcing his resignation on Jan. 22, Gordon allegedly signed an agreement with Whitmer’s administration for $155,506.
The bribe was to silence Gordon over Governor Whitmer’s COVID-19 policies and not discuss his resignation circumstances. The deal has only added fuel to claims that Whitmer is hiding something significant about the pandemic’s impact in the state’s nursing homes.
“This is a public official being bought off with taxpayer dollars… What I want to know is, what are they hiding… [The committee will] begin an investigation to look at the process of what they’re doing within this administration… [House Republicans are] working with our legal counsel to determine what options we have available… and if we have to do a subpoena, we will,” Steven Johnson said at a news conference.
The Michigan governor is also under fire by the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charlie LeDuff. He announced that he would sue Michigan Governor Democrat Gretchen Whitmer to force her to release coronavirus data regarding its nursing homes. LeDuff is preparing the lawsuit along with free-market think-tank Mackinac Center.
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The journalist tweeted that Whitmer refused to release CCP virus death data and accurate home numbers to the public. He is willing to fight the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
“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 told Fox News. He added that if there is gross negligence or incompetence from the governor, she needs “to answer for it.”
The journalist tweeted that Whitmer copied nursing homes’ policies from Andrew Cuomo. The New York Governor is also under scrutiny for hiding nursing home deaths in his state. But in May, Cuomo stopped COVID-19–positive people from returning to their nursing homes. Whitmer, in contrast, continued to allow infected people into nursing homes. She even vetoed a bill that would protect the elderly.
Last July, Whitmer vetoed a bill aimed at stopping coronavirus patients from being housed together with the vulnerable elderly. People aged 60 and above constitute 90 percent of coronavirus deaths in the state.
Mackinac Center for Public Policy spokesperson Holly Wetzel stated that its lawsuit aims to collect accurate records to understand better how the pandemic affected Michigan.
Michigan Republicans want answers
Michigan’s Republican state legislators have demanded an investigation into Whittier’s role in nursing home coronavirus deaths. In addition to her problematic policies, the lawmakers explained that there are discrepancies in the data reported by nursing homes.
For example, patients transferred to hospitals who received a positive coronavirus test were added to the records of only a few nursing home facilities. At the same time, some centers completely skipped all reports of them.
Steven Johnson, Chairman of the Michigan House Oversight Committee, held a hearing to know more about Whitmer’s COVID-19 nursing home policies. However, the state health and human services director, who was supposed to testify at the hearing personally, did not show up.
Instead, the director sent a letter stating that they have “the greatest data out there” but failed to share any data with the committee.