Whitmer could face criminal charges over COVID deaths, prosecutor says

A county prosecutor in Michigan told a local news station Monday that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could possibly face charges for her early handling of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Peter Lucido, the Macomb County prosecutor, told WXYZ.com that he is limited in his own investigation into nursing home deaths, but if it is revealed that there was “willful neglect of office” or “reckless endangerment of a person’s life,” there could be criminal charges.

Lucido, a former Republican state senator, appealed to those in the state who may have lost loved ones to the virus who were in nursing homes to seek out information about the deaths. He said HIPPAA laws prevent his office from obtaining some patient information.

Whitmer’s office did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.

Her office issued a statement to WXYZ and called Lucido’s comments “shameful political attacks based in neither fact or reality.” Her office said that one of Lucido’s former Republican colleagues admitted that they “have not seen any evidence or testimony that says that a nursing home was forced to take someone against their will.”

“The administration’s policies carefully tracked CDC guidance on nursing homes, and we prioritized testing of nursing home residents and staff to save lives,” the statement read. “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 resident priority access to the vaccine. Both the former head of AARP, as well as an independent U-M study,…

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