Michigan Governor Dumps Democrat Consulting Firm Hired to Handle Coronavirus Contact Tracing
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has dumped a Democrat consulting firm that she hired to handle coronavirus contact tracing in the state.
Whitmer hired Great Lakes Community Engagement, which is headed up by Democrat Party consultant Michael Kolehouse. Kolehouse drew controversy in recent weeks by wishing for President Donald Trump to “get Coronavirus ASAP” and hoping for someone to “do the country a favor and cough on that man.”
She dumped Kolehouse’s operation after her administration admitted that the normal protocols were not used in awarding the contract. Cronyism has been Whitmer’s hallmark since assuming the office of the governor in 2019.
“This contract should have been approved by the State Emergency Operations Center,” a Whitmer spokesperson said in an email. “This issue is being corrected, and a different vendor and software platform will be selected by the SEOC. The state is committed to ensuring this important tracing work can begin quickly to help save lives, while also ensuring that public health data is safe and secure.”
Republicans throughout the state have pilloried Whitmer for essentially giving a kickback to Democrat operatives during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to know how Gov. Whitmer’s administration decided to hire this company without a competitive bid process, or letting the Legislature — charged with ensuring accountability within state government — know about it,” Republican state representative Shane Hernandez of Port Huron said in a letter to Gov. Whitmer.
“I want to know what safeguards the governor has in place to ensure the information gathered during this COVID-19 response doesn’t wind up in the hands of any campaigns,” he added.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, a native of Michigan, also pointed out Whitmer’s poor leadership:
Kolehouse recently posted on social media that he hopes President Trump gets coronavirus.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) April 21, 2020
The issue was initially discovered by Livingston county commissioner Wes Nakagiri, a tea party organizer in the state, who exposed the issue in a series of press releases.
“I’ve been involved with grassroots activists for a little over a decade,” Nakagiri said to the Washington Free Beacon. “I’ve never seen anything like this on the conservative side of the ledger, where you’ve got this entity working with governmental bodies, dumping huge networks of information into one database. They’re asking for contact information, they’re asking for who else lives in the house—it’s troubling that this information is being stored in a Democrat-aligned database.”
Whitmer has used the pandemic to promote her own leadership profile in the hopes of becoming Vice President. Her posturing may backfire as her corrupt actions are exposed and protests such as Operation Gridlock undermine her authority.