Whitmer fallout: Audit finds 800 unreported COVID-19 deaths in Michigan nursing homes

Preliminary results from Auditor Doug Ringler first step in longer analysis.

Preliminary results from Auditor Doug Ringler’s analysis of Michigan’s long-term care facility COVID-19 death data found about 800 additional confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths than the state initially counted overall statewide between Jan. 1, 2020, and July 3, 2021.

Ringler responded to a request from the Oversight Committee to investigate the accuracy of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) COVID-19 death data in long-term care facilities. The request followed questions about the accuracy of MDHHS COVID-19 death data.

Ringler told Johnson he used death certificate information from the Electronic Death Record System and COVID-19 case and death data from the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS). The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services counts total COVID-19 deaths on their pandemic website using data from MDSS.

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How can we trust any information coming out of our government?

After the damage has been done we find out later the numbers were way higher than originally reported, with no accountability for their abysmally poor decisions. Then they ask us to just be ok with their incompetence, or blatant biased disregard for actual recommendations from, in this case recommendations coming out against it from health care professionals.

The whole situation of putting COVID patients in with our most vulnerable, is inexcusable. There needs to be severe punishment for the damage, death and destruction that has been done to this state. I would love to see a true investigation initiated, not under the current AG, to determine if there is a criminal case.

— Donna Brandenburg