(WXYZ) – Criminal charges may be pending against Governor Gretchen Whitmer for placing COVID patients in nursing homes used as centers at the start of the pandemic.
New Macomb County District Attorney Peter Lucido said people who have lost loved ones to COVID as residents or nursing home staff should return for vital information on the circumstances of their death and bring them to the local police and file a wrongful death complaint.
Lucido says that with HIPAA laws he cannot get this information in his own investigation.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is currently under investigation for allegedly treating the number of COVID deaths in nursing homes. Lucido says only 5 states, including Michigan and New York, have used care facilities as centers.
Lucido told 7 Action News, “If we find that there has been willful neglect of the function if we find that there has been reckless endangerment of a person’s life by bringing them in, we go ahead with charges against the governor. Of course we would. No one is above the law in this state. “
Anyone who has had loved ones in nursing homes over the past year is aware of the pain of COVID deaths in isolation without in-person visits.
Lucido began to address this issue last year as a state senator. It issued a statement in August saying more than 2,000 residents and 21 staff have died in nursing homes, or 32% of all deaths.
Lucido asks people to go back to nursing homes and gather vital information about the deaths and bring it to local police to file a wrongful death report.
He will meet with Macomb County Police to explain how to process and verify the information and bring it to his office.
“Why did my mother or why did my father, brother, sister or aunt die?” Is it because of the policy of bringing in patients infected with COVID who spread to my mother and who killed my mother? Lucido said.
After becoming a prosecutor this year, Lucido asked his fellow county attorneys to form a blue ribbon committee for consistency in the investigation of these cases.
This association as a group refused and said Lucido should apply to the Michigan attorney general and the federal government. Lucido provided letters showing that he did so last May.
The attorney general said there was no valid basis for opening a criminal investigation. The US attorney said they would consider his request.
“I did not receive a very warm welcome. Not everyone is political. These are people who died at the request of a policy developed by the governor, ”Lucido told 7 Action News.
We have received a statement from Governor Whitmer which says:
Our top priority from the start has been to protect the Michiganders, especially the elderly and the most vulnerable. Administration policies closely followed CDC nursing home guidelines, and we prioritized testing nursing home residents and staff to save lives. At the start of the pandemic, the state moved quickly to create a network of regional centers with isolation units and adequate PPE to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at a facility. In addition, we provided 100% of nursing home residents with priority access to the vaccine. The former head of AARP, as well as an independent UM study, praised our work to save lives in nursing homes.
Mr. Lucido’s comments are shameful political attacks based on neither fact nor reality. Even his former colleague, Republican Senator Ed McBroom, said they “have not seen any evidence or testimony that a nursing home has been forced to take someone against their will.” And there’s a reason Mr. Lucido’s colleagues have publicly berated this politically motivated waste of taxpayer dollars. The Michiganders are tired of these little partisan games, and we won’t be distracted by them either.