Hospital CEOs urge Michigan leaders to enact COVID-19 mandates

A group of hospital CEOs, as well as executives from Michigan's universities and businesses, penned an open letter to elected officials asking them to address surging COVID-19 cases with government-led mandates.

The Oct. 21 letter said COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Michigan are steeply rising, with average cases up to 1,803 a day and hospitalizations up to 898, as of Oct. 18. The leaders noted while deaths are lower now than at the beginning of the pandemic, that metric is starting to tick up as well.

The letter urges state officials to have "complete unity of purpose and a strong collective response" and implement "clearly defined mandatory standards which govern mask usage, workplace practices, public gatherings and certain social activities."

"We hold these views because of what we have learned in our hospitals and businesses: the disciplined use of COVID-19 safety practices clearly works to minimize viral spread," the leaders said. "And we hold these views because the evidence strongly suggests — both in Michigan and the other states/countries in which many of us operate — that without such clear standards, people struggle to band together to effectively control viral spread."

Hospital CEOs who signed the letter include:

  • Ed Ness, president and CEO of Munson Healthcare in Traverse City 
  • Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids
  • John Fox, president and CEO of Beaumont Health in Southfield 
  • Wright Lassiter, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit 
  • Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association 
  • Nancy Schlichting, retired CEO of Henry Ford Health System 

Access the full letter here.

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