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Rep. Afendoulis fights to end governor’s flawed COVID-19 nursing home policy
RELEASE|July 16, 2020

State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis, of Grand Rapids Township, supported a House resolution Thursday opposing Gov. Whitmer’s order requiring long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, to accept COVID-positive patients, putting the lives of Michigan seniors in danger.

Rep. Afendoulis spoke on the floor about her experience with her 84-year-old mother who has dementia and is living in a care facility.

“They have worked hard to keep the residents healthy,” Afendoulis said. “COVID spread because the governor knowingly placed COVID-positive patients in nursing homes. This was a politically charged decision based on data to which we have not been privy and in the absence of any logic. If my mother had suffered or died because of it, I would be enraged.”

Afendoulis noted that the governor decided to send sick patients to nursing homes even though the state created overflow facilities to care for COVID patients. The state spent $40,000 per day and $1.2 million per month to convert and operate the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi for those patients. The overflow location has been used for just a handful of patients.

“We’ve heard that’s because it wasn’t ‘comfy’ enough. Instead, patients were sent to nursing homes,” Afendoulis said. “We traded comfy for lives.”

Senior citizens, especially those in nursing homes, are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. Reports indicate at least 34 percent of Michigan’s COVID-19 deaths – 1,947 people – have been nursing home residents, and the numbers continue to grow each day.

Afendoulis and her House colleagues continue to call for the governor’s administration to release more information related to this policy, which Gov. Whitmer has acknowledged is flawed.

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