LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The State Auditor General released his report today on the number of COVID deaths in homes servicing elderly residents.

As 6 News’ Tim Skubick reports, the Whitmer administration is still saying the auditor general’s report is misleading and can therefore be misused by her opponents.

The governor’s public health director reports 5,675 senior citizen deaths in long term care facilities. Auditor General Douglas Ringler contends the number is 8,061.

The release of a 13 page letter explains how the auditor general got to a different number than Health Director Elizabeth Hertel.

She says it’s very simple, he counted more places where seniors lived and died, that the state was not required to count by law.

The administration issued it’s response to the report concluding, “we continue to have serious concerns about both the methodology, as well as the conclusions they’ve drawn from this report.”

According to Hertel, the Whitmer administration had no legal requirement to count those facilities.

In his letter, Mr. Ringler said the state’s number was accurate.

However, the GOP chair of the House Oversight Committee is looking into the deaths. He asked the auditor to expand the search to adult foster care homes and other non-regulated senior facilities.

Rep. Johnson and other Republicans have accused the governor of under counting these deaths.

However, the governor’s defenders claim the auditor general never used that term, preferring instead to call them “differences,” which of course is not as politically explosive as under count.