LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Whitmer releases prisoners and jails the elderly

More than 30 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan are in nursing homes. Washington State’s nursing home outbreak was quickly controlled and contained. Michigan seems not to have gotten the memo on protecting senior lives.

The medical dollar reimbursement for COVID patient care beds is a profit motive for nursing homes, but Michigan has plenty of empty beds available in hospitals and facilities in Novi and Detroit.

Furthermore, the governor has refused to publish the names of nursing homes with COVID outbreaks. Family members are in the dark and forbidden from entering their loved one’s residence to monitor care. Ironically, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has released prisoners, while the elderly remain jailed.

The situation is disturbing, non-sensical, and ripe for lawsuits. What’s going on? Are care standards being followed? Where are the hot spots? Please, governor, show us the data.

State Sen. Lana Theis recently urged Gov. Whitmer to curtail the practice of allowing senior homes to accept COVID patients. The governor could have issued an immediate executive order to expeditiously accomplish this. Yet, inexplicably, no action was taken.

I support Sen. Theis’ initiative and urge emergency legislation to curtail this practice and deploy medical oversight of care and safety protocols. Michigan families need complete information on the status of facility cases, and the option to move their loved one home or to an alternate care environment.

We must demand transparent data and essential care standards for our parents and grandparents. The governor’s lack of action is unconscionable.

Joellen Pisarczyk

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