A prosecutor hinted that criminal charges could be on the horizon for his state’s governor, one of several under scrutiny for using nursing homes to house COVID-19 patients early in the pandemic. 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) was one of several who enacted controversial policies forcing nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients despite warnings from providers. 

Specifically, the state mandated facilities at less than 80% capacity to create dedicated units for COVID-19-affected residents and that providers take in new patients as long as they had appropriate personal protective equipment for staff. She reversed course in May.

Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido (R) told local media on Monday that his office is investigating police complaints involving nursing home deaths that could have been caused by the policy. 

“If we find there’s been willful neglect of office, if we find there’s been reckless endangerment of a person’s life by bringing them in then we would move forward with charges against the governor,” he told WXYZ News. “Of course, we would. Nobody’s above the law in this state.”

Whitmer’s office defended the policies amid shifting COVID-19 guidance at the time.

“The administration’s policies carefully tracked CDC guidance on nursing homes, and we prioritized testing of nursing home residents and staff to save lives,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “Early in the pandemic, the state acted swiftly to create a network of regional hubs with isolation units and adequate PPE to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within a facility.” 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who enacted a similar policy, has also faced calls for investigations into his state’s coronavirus response at nursing homes following an admission that the state purposely altered death counts from facilities to appear lower than they were.