Top Michigan official: Nursing home death data is accurate


In this Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 file photo, provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state health department addresses the state (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s top health official says long-term care facilities 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.

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