Michigan Health Care Worker: Whitmer's Shutdown Caused Death and Suffering for My Patients
A physician assistant has penned a scathing Op-Ed in which he describes Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as a power-drunk autocrat who prioritized her authority over human life amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Jordan Warnsholz, in an opinion piece published by USA Today on Monday, wrote that he and other health care providers are suing Whitmer over her emergency orders, which he equated to a “power grab” that caused devastation, pain and death to his patients after she unilaterally decided which health procedures and treatments were appropriate and essential during the state’s lockdown.
“We are suing the governor because her actions violate the state’s constitution requirement that executive, legislative and judicial powers remain distinct and separate,” Warnsholz wrote of the Democratic governor.
“Not only that, but under Michigan law, emergency powers may only persist for 28 days, unless the legislature agrees to extend them further. Whitmer ignored the law and extended her order anyway,” he said.
Warnsholz described some of his patients as helpless with regard to essential medical services that he said were deemed illegal by Whitmer’s orders.
“Whitmer’s power grab started a few months into the pandemic,” he wrote. “After initially declaring a state of emergency in March and issuing a series of orders to shut down the state’s economy, the governor illegally chose to extend these emergency orders unilaterally. In doing so, she broke the law and the Michigan Constitution, which gives that power to the legislature.
“Dangers looms when one person tries to regulate the lives of millions. Whitmer’s orders are a case in point.”
Warnsholz said the governor lacked the medical knowledge to make such sweeping decisions.
“What looks like something non-essential in the eyes of a politician or government bureaucrat can actually be very essential to a patient’s overall current health and future health,” he wrote.
“Similarly, elective surgeries aren’t unimportant or unnecessary. They’re simply procedures that can be scheduled in advance. They can and regularly do save lives, both in the short- and long-term. There’s no doubt that banning these procedures harmed the health and safety of my patients.”
Warnsholz described treating an elderly woman who needed a routine procedure to restore blood flow to her leg.
That procedure, per the physician assistant, was outlawed by the governor’s orders, and thus was delayed to the point where the patient nearly lost her leg.
In another case, Warnsholz blamed the death of a patient on Whitmer.
“One of my patients came to see me when he felt like he had nowhere else to turn. The governor’s orders prevented him from getting regular treatment for his diabetes. By the time he came to me, he was in a full-on medical emergency. He told me about an odor coming from his foot — it turned out to be gangrene. His kidneys were in full-blown failure,” he wrote.
The patient was rushed to a hospital but died from complications days later, per Warnsholz.
On treating patients under Whitmer’s authority, he said, “Watching them suffer has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced.”
“It’s too late to undo most of the harm that these orders have caused. But it’s not too late for the Michigan Supreme Court to do what’s right. The court should rule that her actions violated state [statute] and the Michigan Constitution. And the court can prevent her, and future governors, from illegally seizing lawmaking power,” Warnsholz wrote.
“No one should ever have to suffer like my patients have suffered from Gov. Whitmer’s illegal power grab,” he concluded.
Warnsholz and the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are being represented by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan-based nonprofit that advocates for limited government.
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