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Michigan health chief tells state House committee that nursing home death count is accurate

Posted at 6:49 AM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 06:49:33-04

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s top health official says nursing homes are accurately reporting the number of coronavirus-related deaths, amid questions over whether the tally is low.

Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, told lawmakers Thursday that nursing homes have no “reason or incentive to try to hide” deaths.

The Republican-led House Oversight Committee held the hearing after Detroit-area journalist Charlie LeDuff and the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation questioned if there is an undercount.

Hertel called “untrue” the contention that deaths found by analyzing death certificates may not be reflected in data submitted by long-term care facilities.