Governor Whitmer Vetoes Bill That Would Protect Nursing Home Residents
This is certainly very interesting, Senator Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, sponsored a bill that would have banned nursing homes from admitting or retaining an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 starting on September 1st. The bill had an exemption if the person had recovered or unless a nursing home could provide care in a separate building.
The concern of Senator Lucido and all who voted for it was the large percentage of elderly residents at these facilities that died of COVID-19 complications. According to the state's own data, approximately 33% of the state's deaths linked to COVID-19 have been nursing home residents or employees. That number is approximately 2,050 residents and employees.
With all that data in front of her, Governor Whitmer vetoed that bill which will more than likely send more nursing home patients and employees to their death. Whitmer issued a letter explaining her veto stating her veto was based on:
"the false premise that isolation units created within existing facilities are somehow insufficient to protect seniors...Instead of protecting seniors, this bill would require the state to create COVID-19-only facilities, forcing hospitals and many nursing homes to send COVID-19-positive patients to such facilities without any requirement for consent, doctor approval or notification to the patient or their family”
Interesting since Whitmer demanded President Trump create a field hospital in Detriot to house COVID-19 positive patients. A request that President Trump agreed to and the field hospital was constructed. What became of that field hospital, according to the Detroit News:
“The 1,000-bed TCF Center field hospital in the city's downtown is no longer caring for COVID-19 patients and is "officially closed down”...At most, the care center inside the convention center cared for about 15 to 20 patients at any given time, the mayor said...The TCF Center treated a total of 39 patients from the time it opened, state TCF spokeswoman Michelle Grinnell said in an email.
I do not remember her being so concerned about the people she was going to send to this field hospital and their rights or the cost.
Senator Lucido stated:
“I am very disappointed and saddened that the governor vetoed this extremely important and commonsense legislation...Politics should not prevail over the health and safety of our seniors and health care workers, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate and House to consider passing a veto override. We owe this to our citizens, especially the seniors and vulnerable members of our communities who cannot speak for themselves.”
According to the Detroit News:
‘Earlier this month, a Detroit News review of inspection reports for the 45 nursing homes with the most deaths linked to COVID-19 found that nearly half had been cited in the last four months for failing to follow infection control, isolation or staffing policies.”
Really, what does Whitmer have to say about that? Absolutely nothing!
The bill to protect the elderly in Michigan nursing homes passed in the Senate with a vote of 24-13 and in the House 74-34. In Michigan’s House of Representatives, 17 Democrats joined Republicans in support with 3 Democrats joining in the Senate.
Can anyone defend this veto without bringing her political agenda into the equation and rely only on the scientific data and what the inspections found?
My thought, probably not.