At Thursday night’s governor’s debate, Tudor Dixon (R) hit Gretchen Whitmer (D) hard over her nursing home policy and overall coronavirus response.
When asked by moderators of the debate whether Whitmer would have made different choices in light of the information she has now that the pandemic is waning, Whitmer basically used the “hindsight is 20/20” defense:
We know that this was a brand new virus that we didn’t know a lot about. We knew that our hospitals were filling up and that people were dying. We were in a desperate search for masks and ventilators. There were refrigerated trucks outside of some of our hospitals to store people’s bodies who didn’t survive.
It was a desperate time. Lives were on the line. Studies have shown that our actions saved thousands of lives. Now 35,000 people in our state have died from Covid. They may not matter to some, but they matter to me. Every single one of them. If I could go back in time with the knowledge we have now, sure, I would’ve made some different decisions, but we were working in the middle of a crisis and lives were on the line.
Dixon attacked Whitmer for her policies, from sending patients with a virus into nursing homes to her lengthy shutdown of schools to her efforts to minimize the number of deaths at nursing homes.
“We have the letter from the nursing home association that said, whatever you do, don’t send Covid patients into nursing homes, and yet, the governor did,” said Dixon. “When Andrew Cuomo even backed off of this, Gov. Whitmer doubled down.” She went on to say:
She even tried to hide the final report of the number of how many deaths we had. In fact, she has tried to hide a lot from this pandemic. She tried to hide or she did hide effectively, why her department of Health and Human Services Director left. In fact, she even paid him off with a secrecy agreement.
According to Center Square, a recent audit showed that Whitmer undercounted deaths in nursing homes by an astounding 42 percent:
A new audit found Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths by 42%, or 2,386.
At issue is how many nursing deaths occurred in Michigan and whether Whitmer’s COVID-19 policies exacerbated nursing home deaths by housing infected patients with those most vulnerable to die from COVID-19. COVID-19 disproportionately kills the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. In Michigan, 84% of the state’s total COVID-19 victims were people aged 60 and older.
The Auditor General’s report found the total number of COVID-19 deaths at long-term care facilities at 8,061, compared to the state’s previous self-reported tally of 5,675.
In her response, Whitmer accused Dixon of basically promoting conspiracy theories regarding vaccines and masks but was later attacked again for her rash lockdown policy that hurt Michigan's economy.
“She can’t be honest because she knows that her response was so completely horrendous,” said Dixon. “In fact, she closed the restaurants down longer than any other state and we lost 3000 restaurants, but we just got a report today: Michigan is having a slower comeback than any of our surrounding states. So not only did she make bad choices when she closed us down and refused to open our schools, but she hasn’t figured out how to recover.”