The Justice Department says it will not investigate Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 nursing home policies.
The decision was announced Thursday in a letter to Whitmer’s office, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"We have reviewed the information you provided along with additional information available to the department," wrote Steven Rosenbaum, chief of the litigation section with the DOJ's civil rights division. “Based on that review, we have decided not to open a (civil rights) investigation of any public nursing facility within Michigan at this time."
The Washington Examiner said Michigan was one of four states that the then-Trump Justice Department had sought data from to determine if policies for nursing homes during the pandemic may have been responsible for the deaths of seniors.
It noted the other states were New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
The Free Press said Republican lawmakers had repeatedly called for a criminal probe of Whitmer, a Democrat, and said her policies killed people.
Whitmer had issued an executive order that required nursing homes with available space to create a unit to isolate residents with COVID-19 and to accept patients discharged from hospitals with the coronavirus.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has also declined to investigate. According to the Examiner, she said in March she would not “abuse the investigatory powers of this department to launch a political attack on any state official, regardless of party or beliefs.”
Whitmer’s spokesman Bobby Leddy ripped the demands for a probe, the Free Press said.
"It’s deeply disturbing that Republicans sought to politicize the worst public health crisis in 100 years, especially when their own proposals would have contributed to even greater spread and loss of life — and, at every step of the way, they opposed the very actions the governor took that saved thousands of lives," Leddy said on Thursday.
"With both the United States Department of Justice and Michigan Attorney General rejecting these baseless attacks, it's time to end the political games and work together to get things done for Michiganders."
The Examiner pointed out that state Auditor General Doug Ringler has agreed to investigate deaths in care homes after Republicans asked him to do a “comprehensive study of reported and unreported deaths in long-term care facilities.”
That investigation is expected to be completed in September or October.
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