March 11, 2021
A police investigation is underway about a "questionable" death at a metro Detroit nursing home during the coronavirus pandemic, which many believe Macomb Prosecutor Pete Lucido is attempting to use as a launching pad for criminal charges against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
No charges have been filed yet, but Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido, a Republican and vocal critic of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, has testified that her policy in regard to coronavirus patients -- a policy that returned COVID positive patients to facilities -- was deadly. Whitmer has countered many times that her policy followed CDC guidelines and any talk otherwise is just a politically motivated attack.
In conjunction with Lucido's claim of wrongdoing, the Shelby Township police are investigating a patient's death in a nursing home as a criminal matter. They're urging anyone who experienced a nursing home patient's death due to coronavirus to contact them at 586-731-2121.
Many are reporting that Lucido's effort is meant to create criminal charges against Whitmer. Lucido, a former Republican state senator who faced a sexual harassment allegation for comments directed at a young female reporter a few months ago, is now saying he believes Whitmer could be charged with two state misdemeanors, one count each of willful neglect of office and reckless endangerment of a person's life.
“I’ve heard from a lot of people in Macomb County. That’s what prompted this. I was a legislator first and they were asking me how is it possible I can let my mother or father die in isolation,” Lucido said., according to WWMT.
Lucido said he asked Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's Office to investigate, but they said no.
“I think it is a publicity stunt, I think that there is a lot of reason for us all to be focused on what’s happening in the nursing homes and to make sure that we’re keeping people safe,” State Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, told WWMT.
Data shows that one-third of Michigan's coronavirus deaths happened in nursing homes.
Whitmer released a statement bolstering her assertion that she did the right thing to save the lives of the state's most vulnerable. Her office said the state “prioritized testing” of nursing home staff and residents “to save lives.”
“Early in the pandemic, the state acted swiftly to create a network of regional hubs with isolation units and adequate PPE to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within a facility. In addition, we have offered 100 percent of nursing home residents priority access to the vaccine. Both the former head of AARP, as well as an independent U-M study, praised our work to save lives in nursing homes,” the statement said.