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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Whitmer Addresses Nursing Home Deaths, New COVID-19 Hot Spots in Michigan

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Gov. Whitmer tells Stephen Henderson that she would have made some decisions differently if she knew what she knows now.

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Michigan is now a few weeks into re-opening large portions of our economy and some early signs have pointed to the state being one of the few on track to contain the spread of COVID-19.

If I could go back in a time machine with the knowledge we have today three months ago, would I have made some decisions differently? Yes.” - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

But an outbreak of COVID infections has also been traced to a single bar in East Lansing, which is now linked to cases here in Metro Detroit. Now, Whitmer says she’s been forced to delay moving Michigan into the next phase of re-opening due to concerns about new cases in some areas of the state.


Listen: Gov. Whitmer talks new COVID outbreaks, nursing home deaths, and more on Detroit Today.


When asked about the high number of deaths in nursing homes in Michigan, the governor says all decisions have been made with the best science and information available at the time, but that she may have made some decisions differently if she had the information she has now.

If I could go back in a time machine with the knowledge we have today three months ago, would I have made some decisions differently? Yes,” says Whitmer.

These partisan games are just hurting the public trust in all the conversation around public health.” — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

She has received a lot of criticism from Republicans about her handling of coronavirus cases in nursing homes. The governor has told members of the Republican minority on a U.S. House committee that she won’t cooperate with their requests for information into how Michigan and other states have handled that issue.

Whitmer says that inquiry is “entirely partisan.” 

I don’t have time to deal with that,” she says. “These partisan games are just, I think, hurting the public trust in all the conversation around public health.”

In April, after photos emerged of what looked like dead bodies piled up in storage rooms at Detroit Sinai Grace Hospital, Whitmer told reporters the state would investigate improper body storage there. But the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has since said it does not have jurisdiction to investigate those issues and the governor’s office and Sinai Grace have both told WDET an investigation has not happened.

I think it is important that we all understand what happened there,” Whitmer tells Henderson. “So, I will follow up on that.”

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Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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