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The U.S. Department of Justice will not investigate Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, per a letter obtained by the Michigan Advance.
State and federal Republican lawmakers had called for investigations into Democratic governors’ policies, but not Republican governors. Whitmer said the requests were politically motivated. Republicans have opposed her health restrictions to stop the virus’ spread.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel this year declined GOP lawmakers’ requests to investigate, citing a lack of evidence.
“I see no evidence in your letter or elsewhere to suggest that Governor Whitmer’s efforts to contain COVID-19 in Michigan’s nursing homes resulted in increased deaths,” Nessel said, noting that a recent University of Michigan Center for Health and Research Transformation report concluded otherwise compared to the U.S. average.
However, DOJ officials during the Trump administration had asked for documents from the Whitmer administration and other Democratic governors to help determine whether to open an investigation under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA).
In a letter dated Thursday from Steven H. Rosenbaum, chief of the DOJ Special Litigation Section, wrote: “We have reviewed the information you provided along with additional information available to the Department. Based on that review, we have decided not to open a CRIPA investigation of any public nursing facility within Michigan at this time.”
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