Michigan state Senate
Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido.
Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido, a former state Senator who opposed Michigan’s COVID-19 restrictions, is the latest Republican to seize on coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.
After threatening to charge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
, a Democrat, earlier this week for her handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes, Lucido on Thursday called on the county medical examiner’s office to examine the fatalities. He also launched an online form for families to fill out so police can investigate the deaths.
Lucido, a Trump-loving conservative who often smeared Whitmer while he was in the Senate, insisted it wasn’t political.
“I’m not going after anyone,” he said during a news conference. “I’m simply trying to find out whatever we can about these deaths.”
Others aren’t buying it. When Lucido had a chance to help protect nursing homes residents from the spread of COVID-19, he was a no-show. On Dec. 18, the Senate voted on a coronavirus bill that included more than $22 million for testing in nursing homes and more than $3 million for hospitals that retained nursing home patients while they were infected. Lucido skipped the vote but still had time to post a video on his official state senator page
“Disgraced former state Senator Peter Lucido is the last person any Michigander who cares about beating this virus should listen to,” Lavora Barnes, chairwoman of the Michigan Democratic Party, said in a statement Thursday. “When it mattered most, he skipped out on passing COVID-19 relief that directly helped nursing homes, while his party consistently opposed commonsense and popular measures to save lives and help our economy recover.”
She added, “Lucido’s recent attacks against the governor are nothing more than pathetic, hypocritical smears from a partisan politician who even his own party investigated and punished for his pattern of deeply inappropriate sexual harassment.”
Local doctors also spoke out against Lucido.
“From a medical perspective, this move appears to be purely partisan,” Dr. Farhan Bhatti tweeted
on Wednesday. “As a state senator, Lucido didn't even show up to vote for critical COVID-19 funding when we were counting on it for our patients. The ‘willful neglect’ appears to be on him.”
Dr. Rob Davidson, executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare, pointed out that Lucido declined to take steps to protect residents from COVID-19.
“While he and his GOP colleagues resisted measures to decrease COVID spread & said it was no big deal, Whitmer followed CDC guidance, issued mask mandates & stay at home orders, and fought w/ Trump to get test supplies & PPE,” Davidson tweeted Wednesday. “Yet he’s going to charge her? What a load of bullshit.”
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