New state bill would stop Gov. Whitmer's housing of coronavirus patients at nursing homes

COVID-19 patients housed with non-coronavirus seniors in nursing homes. The state of Michigan did it - and now, Michigan Rep. Leslie Love's mom is positive with the virus.

The story of Love, a Democrat, inspired another lawmaker on the Republican side of the aisle to protect senior citizens during the pandemic. 

"How is it that we let this happen, that we would stick COVID-19 in there to let them die - it doesn't make sense," said Michigan Sen. Pete Lucido (R-Shelby Twp.).

Lucido was brought to tears learning his fellow lawmaker's elderly mother has COVID-19.

"It is really taxing on the spirit and quite honestly, very scary," Love said.

State Rep. Leslie Love says her 83-year-old mother lives at a nursing home in Redford - it is one of 20 regional hubs designated by Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders to house COVID-19 patients too healthy for the hospital, but still in need of care. 

"I thought no way, they wouldn't do that, right?" Love said.

State Rep. Leslie Love with her mother who caught COVID-19 from a patient housed at her nursing home.

But they did - apparently separating COVID-19 patients from seniors, but Love says clearly not enough. Lucido used this story as a springboard for new legislation to stop the co-mingling.

"I want to help, I want to be direct and I want to get it done," Lucido said.

The bill was introduced Wednesday and it would make it illegal to knowingly house anyone with the virus in nursing homes. It has bi-partisan support. 

"I would never imagine that me and Senator Pete Lucido who used to be my colleague over in the House would be on the same side fighting for something but on this one, we are playing the same song," Love said.

Both lawmakers brought up the horrifying abuse at one of these so-called hubs in Detroit, where 20-year-old Jayden Hayden brutally beat his elderly roommate, a resident of Westwood nursing home.

RELATED: Father of 20-year-old patient who beat elderly man at Detroit nursing home says son shouldn't have been there

Hayden was living there temporarily after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. Both lawmakers agree - it could have been prevented. 

"I never want to see another report of a kid that beats up a senior citizen in a nursing and the nursing home doesn't know about it until two weeks later," Love said.

Lucido has asked that his bill be fast tracked for a vote in the House and Senate, then it will go to the governor's desk for approval or a veto.