On Oct. 2, thousands of concerned citizens gathered at the Michigan Capitol to press Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to release the nursing home death count that resulted from Whitmer's executive orders on the coronavirus pandemic.
As COVID-19 spread, Steven Crowder noticed something tragic developing in his home state of Michigan. While most states reported COVID-19 as the main cause of roughly 34% of all deaths, Michigan's reporting stirred concern.
Compelled to stand up for the most COVID-19-vulnerable demographic, senior citizens, Crowder and his team organized the Michigan March to demand Whitmer answer questions.
"How many of you have heard the reported number that 34% of COVID-19 deaths come from senior living facilities?" Crowder asked the crowd. "That number is a lie."
According to Crowder, Michigan reports failed to include all senior care facilities, reporting only 1/10th of senior care facilities registered in the state.
"Release the numbers, Gov. Whitmer," Crowder chanted. "Release the numbers."
Gov. Whitmer's policy
Whitmer's administration set up a system in which COVID-19 infected residents received treatment in isolated areas of nursing home facilities across the state.
The governor vetoed a bill that would have made it illegal for nursing homes to knowingly house COVID-19 infected patients, claiming that nursing homes took in only patients that the facility was prepared to care for. But, death tolls indicated that one in four coronavirus deaths in Michigan occurred in nursing homes.
Since the rally, the Detroit News reported, "In a landmark ruling with far-reaching implications, the Michigan Supreme Court decided Friday that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer violated her constitutional authority by continuing to issue orders to combat COVID-19 without the approval of state lawmakers."
In a 4-3 ruling, lawmakers decided that the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act is unconstitutional. Additionally, the court ruled, "The 1976 Emergency Management Act did not give Whitmer the power, after April 30, to issue or renew any executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic after 28 days without Legislative approval."
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