If Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is going to be investigated for policies she put in place with regard to nursing homes during COVID-19, it won’t be at the hands of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
The Washington Examiner reports that the DOJ has announced it will not be investigating Whitmer for her coronavirus policies related to nursing homes.
Steven Rosenbaum, the leader of the DOJ’s civil rights division, indicated as much in a letter that he sent this week to Whitmer’s attorney.
“We have reviewed the information you provided along with additional information available to the Department,” Rosenbaum said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Based on that review, we have decided not to open a (civil rights) investigation of any public nursing facility within Michigan at this time.”
Controversial COVID orders
Whitmer was among a handful of Democrat governors who adopted a policy of sending coronavirus-positive patients back to nursing homes to finish their recoveries in the early days of the pandemic.
As we have come to learn, older Americans are among those most vulnerable to COVID-19. With that, many feel policies adopted by Whitmer and others contributed to the spread of the coronavirus among seniors — and may have even led to unnecessary deaths.
Accordingly, then-President Donald Trump had ordered his DOJ to look into potential violations of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA).
Trump’s DOJ reportedly requested data from four states, including Michigan.
“Election year politics”
The governor, for her part, labeled the request little more than “election year politics.” And unfortunately for conservatives, it seems she’ll skirt accountability this time.
Rosenbaum has indicated that Biden’s DOJ looked at the documents provided and determined there was not enough evidence to launch a CRIPA investigation. It perhaps comes as little surprise, as President Joe Biden has himself praised Whitmer for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
It ought to be noted, however, that Whitmer is not off the hook just yet.
Reports indicate that Dough Ringler, the state auditor general, is currently investigating the matter at the request of Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Steven Johnson. That investigation is expected to be completed by the fall.