Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is having a tough time with the American legal system, which does not take kindly to dictators. Earlier in the week, she appeared to be losing a very public fight with 77-year-old Karl Manke, who continues to defy her orders to shut down his barbershop even after losing his license to operate without a hearing. He’s still cutting hair and the sheriff won’t stop him. A judge also slapped Whitmer down when she tried to get a restraining order against Manke, ruling instead to hear him out in court. She’s not having a good week. I would have paid good money to have been in the room when she was served with a new lawsuit brought by doctors and one patient claiming her draconian lockdown orders have created a medical “time bomb” for patients who were awaiting elective surgeries and now cannot get them.
The plaintiffs allege in federal court that Ms. Whitmer’s “drastic, unprecedented [and] unilateral executive actions” to cease economic activity that her office deemed nonessential were based on “grossly inaccurate” models that no longer apply and therefore should be lifted.
“Medical providers are on the brink of financial ruin, facing extreme revenue shortages caused by the Governor’s order forcing the postponement or cancellation of so-called ‘non-essential’ procedures,” said the suit filed by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation and a private law firm, Miller Johnson. “Thousands of healthcare workers across Michigan have been furloughed or laid off.”
In addition to the economic devastation, Ms. Whitmer’s order has left hospitals and patients facing a dangerous backlog on procedures that will create a public health catastrophe of its own, said Dr. Randal Baker, a general surgeon and president of Grand Health Partners, a plaintiff based in Grand Rapids.
“This whole ‘elective-procedure’ thing is now a time bomb,” Dr. Baker told The Washington Times. “There is no good reason to have a ban on elective surgery any more. This is now a significant health problem for the people of Michigan and our patients, and I’ve had one patient attempt suicide — a very serious attempt.”
The lawsuit goes onto describe the very serious complications that patients have experienced as a direct result of being denied their elective procedures, including a patient who needed a damaged feeding tube repaired and another who needed gall-bladder surgery and didn’t get it, which led to gangrene. The lockdown has literally sentenced medically fragile people, who would have been fine if they had been able to seek medical care, to life-threatening or even deadly conditions. And there was no good reason not to allow them in the nearly empty hospitals in Michigan. “Graphics depicted that while Governor Whitmer’s administration anticipated 220,000 patients being hospitalized without social distancing efforts, there had only been 3,000 hospitalizations as of April 27,” the lawsuit states. “That is less than 1.4% of the projected COVID-19 hospitalizations underlying the governor’s declared states of emergency and disaster.”
The plaintiffs alleged that Whitmer tried to claim her order never meant to stop elective procedures, but Jordan Warnsholz, a physician’s assistant, told the Washington Times that her order specifically banned them. “She’s backtracking — she says her original order did not imply a complete ban of ‘non-emergency’ medical procedures and she’s right, it explicitly banned them,” he said.
Not only is Whitmer being sued by the medical community but she is also being sued by Michigan’s legislature in an effort to curb her emergency powers.
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