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Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Sues Michigan Governor To Release COVID Death Totals
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a drive-in campaign rally with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama at Belle Isle on October 31, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist is filing a lawsuit against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) to force her to release the COVID-19 death toll data from nursing homes, similar to what was released in New York.

Charlie LeDuff, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his contribution to a 2001 New York Times series about race in America, announced on his radio show in Detroit that he, along with the Mackinac Center, would sue Whitmer over the lack of data regarding nursing home data.

“The Whitmer administration has not fulfilled my request or our request on the No Bulls**t News Hour for COVID death data that may shed light on the true extent of the nursing home devastation. This, in my opinion, is a violation of state law, and more so and this is not an opinion, it is a danger and a disservice to our institutionalized elders who have borne the brunt of the suffering and continue to bear it. {Gov. Andrew] Cuomo in New York is now under Federal investigation, a second one apparently for misleading the public whose nursing home playbook was copied by Whitmer. This in the aftermath of an investigation conducted by the office of the New York State Attorney General, a democrat,” LeDuff said, according to a transcript from RedState’s T. LaDuke. “Release the data Madame Governor but she won’t, so Steve Deliee, the lead policy lawyer on transparency and open government with the august and well-regarded Mackinac Center the non-partisan think tank here in Michigan, they have agreed to take our case to sue the Whitmer administration for the death data in these nursing homes.”

LeDuff made the announcement on his radio show while speaking with Janice Dean, a Fox News meteorologist who has led the charge against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) treatment of nursing home patients during the coronavirus pandemic. Whitmer followed Cuomo’s lead in mandating that nursing homes needed to accept coronavirus-positive patients regardless of whether or not they were equipped to quarantine and treat those individuals. In New York, at least 14% of the state’s pre-COVID nursing-home population died following the policy.

In late January, the New York Attorney General released a report that found the state had massively undercounted the number of patients who died of COVID-19 in nursing homes. From “March through August 3, [New York State Department of Health] DOH reported a total of 6,423 resident deaths in nursing homes due to COVID-19, including 3,640 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 2,783 presumed7 COVID-19 deaths,” the report noted.

Reporters and organizations had been trying to get the governor to release the true numbers of nursing home deaths for nearly a year. Now, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, along with the FBI, is investigating Cuomo over his nursing-home mandate, The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported. A Democrat New York state assemblyman also claimed Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him for his criticism of the governor’s coronavirus mandate.

Whitmer has not received the same level of scrutiny over her nursing home decision, but that may change with LeDuff’s lawsuit.

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Sues Michigan Governor To Release COVID Death Totals