MDHHS subpoenaed over handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes, long-term care facilities

Coronavirus

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Senate Oversight Committee has moved to subpoena the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services over their handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes and other long-term facilities, Republican Senator Lana Theis said.

“The Whitmer administration has throughout its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic proclaimed and defended its reliance on science and data as driving forces for decisions made in response to the coronavirus,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “Yet after multiple requests to DHHS over several months for information about those decisions and what informed them, the department has been less than forthcoming, to say the least. It is unfortunate that a subpoena is necessary for the people of Michigan to obtain information about a government it funds — and that supposedly works for them.”

The Senate Oversight Committee voted to authorize the committee chair to issue, and have served, the subpoena to MDHHS.

The MDHHS is ordered to produce the requested documents by Thursday, May 27.

The subpoena is ordering the MDHHS to turn over the following:

  1. All documents and communications related to the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for
    information to Governor Gretchen Whitmer dated August 26, 2020, including, without
    limitation, all documents and communications provided to the Executive Office of the
    Governor related to such a request.
  2. All written communications to or from former Robert Gordon, Elizabeth Hertel, Sarah Esty,
    Jonathan Warsh, and Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun between February 1, 2020 and March 2, 2021
    related to skilled nursing facilities, homes for the aged, adult foster care facilities, assistant
    living facilities, residential care facilities, and/or congregate care facilities
  3. All communications from or to Robert Gordon, Elizabeth Hertel, Sarah Esty, Jonathan Warsh,
    and/or Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, related to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-07:
    Temporary restrictions on entry into health care facilities, residential care facilities,
    congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities.
  4. All communications from or to Robert Gordon, Elizabeth Hertel, Sarah Esty, Jonathan Warsh,
    and/or Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, related to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-37:
    Temporary restrictions on entry into health care facilities, residential care facilities,
    congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities.
  5. All communications from or to Robert Gordon, Elizabeth Hertel, Sarah Esty, Jonathan Warsh,
    and/or Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, related to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-50:
    Enhanced protections for residents and staff of long-term care facilities during the COVID19 pandemic.
  6. All communications from or to Robert Gordon, Elizabeth Hertel, Sarah Esty, Jonathan Warsh,
    and/or Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, related to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-95:
    Enhanced protections for residents and staff of long-term care facilities during the COVID19 pandemic;
  7. All communications from or to Robert Gordon, Elizabeth Hertel, Sarah Esty, Jonathan Warsh,
    and/or Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, related to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-96:
    Temporary requirement to suspend certain activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect
    life; and any of its predecessor orders.
  8. All communications from or to Robert Gordon, Elizabeth Hertel, Sarah Esty, Jonathan Warsh,
    and/or Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun between February 2, 2020 and March 1, 2021 related to Senate
    Bill 956 of 2020.
  9. All communications from or to Robert Gordon, Elizabeth Hertel, Sarah Esty, Jonathan Warsh,
    and/or Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun between February 1, 2020 and March 2, 2021 related to Senate
    Bill 1024 of 2020.

To date, no documents have been produced in response to either of the committee’s March 3 or April 8 document requests, Theis said.

“Over a third of people who died from COVID-19 in our state were long-term care facility residents and workers,” Theis said. “The tragic loss of our fellow Michiganders could have been prevented. Their grieving families, and the people of this state, demand answers. We deserve to know what decisions led the Whitmer administration to implement, maintain and publicly defend its tragic policy.

“It is unfortunate that we have come to the point of needing a subpoena. But for the sake of the families who lost loved ones to the virus in these facilities, the administration must be fully transparent, and a full investigation must be conducted to determine whether any wrongdoing occurred and, if it did, to ensure justice is delivered.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan

StormTracker 6 Radar