Lucido renews call for investigation into placing COVID-19 patients at nursing homes

Introducing legislation to ban practice

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Peter J. Lucido on Wednesday sent another letter to Attorney General Dana Nessel, renewing his request that an investigation be launched into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders that required long-term care facilities to create COVID-19 units and to accept and/or retain COVID-19-infected patients.

“The decision to put COVID-19-infected people in nursing homes not only didn’t make sense, it further threatened the health of the already vulnerable people residing in the facilities, as well as their caregivers,” said Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “There’s no telling how many people got sick or died because of this policy, and their families deserve answers, and I intend to get them. For their sake, I respectfully request that Attorney General Nessel do her job and conduct an investigation.”

Lucido’s first request for an investigation was sent on May 18 to U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider and Nessel. While Nessel did not respond to Lucido’s request, Schneider said he directed his office to review the concerns that were raised.

“The protection of the life and health of the people of Michigan is a core responsibility of the United States Attorney’s Office,” said Schneider. “The residents of long-term care facilities are among our state’s most vulnerable citizens, and any concern regarding the well-being of these citizens is one that we take seriously.”

On Tuesday, Lucido announced new legislation that would prohibit the transfer of people who have COVID-19 into the state’s long-term care facilities. The legislation would ban the intentional transfer of people who have COVID-19 into any nursing home facility and require the establishment of a centralized treatment facility to help take care of individuals while they recuperate before returning to a nursing home upon testing negative.

“State government shouldn’t be forcing nursing homes to take in people sick with COVID-19,” said Lucido. “We need to know why they did.”

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Editor’s note: Copies of Lucido’s letters and Schneider’s response are attached.