DETROIT – In the early days of the coronavirus Michigan was already behind in funding per patient, according to a new report from democrats on the senate government oversight committee.
As doctors and hospitals anxiously watch an uptick in cases that new report says Michigan’s response plan may have been hobbled by a lack of federal funding. In some cases, getting nearly 10 times less than other states despite having the third highest case load in the country.
June 25, 2020 update: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 62,306, Death toll now at 5,886
According to the report, which was done by the Committee’s minority staff, by April 10th, Michigan had more than 30,000 cases but had only received $31,000 per patient. At the same time, North Dakota only had 278 cases but received nearly $330,000 per COVID-19 case.
“The Trump Administration must take immediate action to rectify these grave mistakes,” Sen. Gary Peters (D) said in a statement along with the report.
The lack of funding also means Michigan needed more supplies but may not have had the money to compete against other states when bidding for critical equipment. In a New York Times Magazine profile this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was said to have described the bidding process for supplies as like being a part of “The Hunger Games,” a popular young adult novel series and movies franchise about a post-apocalyptic, gladiator style competition.
View more: Michigan COVID-19 data
“We expect 180,000 swabs of diverse swabs, we get 180,000 foam swabs, we’re grateful for the foam swabs but it means we can’t do those tests that require the other types of swabs,” Whitmer said during a virtual congressional testimony earlier this month where she detailed a lack of federal help or guidance for states.
Also in that profile, the Whitmer admitted she knew about the coronavirus and cases in other states by late February, but still allowed a 2,000 person rally for former Vice President Joe Biden to continue only giving out hand sanitizer to those in attendance. She issued her stay-at-home order roughly a week after the rally.
Democrats are now urging the president to put more money for hospitals hardest hit into the next round of stimulus funding which the White House has promised to deliver, although when that could happen is still unclear.