Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, whose extreme coronavirus lockdown orders triggered a move to impeach her, says she has no liability for her handling of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities because she followed federal guidelines.
Peter Lucido, the prosecutor in Macomb County, told Detroit’s WXYZ-TV he is restricted in what he can investigate, “but if it is revealed that there was ‘willful neglect of office’ or ‘reckless endangerment of a person’s life,’ there could be criminal charges” against the governor.
Similarly, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been accused of concealing the number of deaths after he ordered nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients.
Lucido, a former Republican state senator, “was appealing to those in the state who may have lost loved ones to the virus who were in nursing homes to seek out information about the deaths,” Fox News reported.
Federal medical privacy laws prevent his office from obtaining the information.
Lucido said Whitmer could possibly face charges for her early handling of nursing homes.
RedState noted a lawsuit has been filed in Michigan to obtain information from the state under the Freedom of Information Act.
Last year, as a state senator, Lucido was frustrated by Whitmer’s lack of transparency in her decision-making.
RedState said the relationship between the governor and the legislative branch has not improved. Now, the dynamic has changed, with a former state senator in a county prosecutor position who could pursue an investigation.
Lucido already has called on anyone who believes a family member in a nursing home was a victim to file a police report that would be turned over to his office.
Fox News reported Whitmer charged Lucido was engaging in “shameful political attacks based in neither fact or reality.”
“The administration’s policies carefully tracked CDC guidance on nursing homes, and we prioritized testing of nursing home residents and staff to save lives,” the governor said in a statement.
“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.”
Whitmer was sued by 400 private schools for ordering them to close. She told children, during a “Santa” call, not to visit family at Christmas.
Eventually the Michigan Supreme Court ruled her pandemic orders exceeded her authority.
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