The debate over the Whitmer administration in Lansing forcing COVID-19 patients into nursing and long-term care facilities is nearing a boiling point. More information is coming to light that points to the state underreporting the number of elderly residents whose deaths are connected to COVID-19 following that order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

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The latest reporting on the issue comes from the Traverse City Record-Eagle. It’s reporting what amounts to a loophole that has allowed the state to ignore virus-related deaths at small adult foster care homes. The problem is state health administrators knew it was happening and didn’t do much about it, and knowingly, according to the publication, ignored the statistics. The paper’s reporting is in lockstep with evidence uncovered by independent reporter Charlie LeDuff who just won a settlement with the state over that very issue.

The Record-Eagle was forced to file freedom of information act requests to try to obtain the data but only a smattering was returned. 12 county health departments simply failed to respond. Another 16 denied the request for the data.

State lawmakers looking into the issue are now reviewing proposed legislation to send funding to the Michigan prosecuting attorneys coordinating council.  Local prosecutors will then be able to access the funds to cover the costs of investigating how the Governor's nursing home policies impacted their local nursing and adult foster care homes.

The State House Oversight committee, chaired by Wayland Republican Steve Johnson, plans to take a closer look at the nursing home deaths and underreporting of data by the state in a hearing at the capitol today.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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