The State – 12/10/20

Lacie Hudson, Case deKoning

Weeks after a long and suspenseful election week, disinformation about voter fraud and a stolen election is still spreading.

On Dec. 2, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani testified before the state Senate on the election process in Michigan, despite the Michigan State Board of Canvassers’ certification of the election results a week prior.

Disputes like these in the election process delay the transition of information from one administration to the next, creating lasting effects on U.S. pandemic response and national security.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise and hospitals are reaching and exceeding intensive care unit capacity across the nation, many Americans wonder how this rough transition will impact the pandemic response, and how the Biden team will be ready to implement efforts for spread mitigation and vaccine distribution.

Former Director of Communication for U.S. National Intelligence Shawn Turner said the president-elect, vice president-elect and their staff will have their work cut out for them.

Turner, a Professor of Strategic Communication at Michigan State University, acknowledged the promising news of a vaccine on the horizon, but said the Biden administration is still facing the need to make up for almost three weeks of having no access to data or expert advice in order to assemble their coronavirus response plan.

Ultimately, that translates to a late response if they’re unable to do the necessary catch-up work in time for Jan. 20, 2021, and that could cost lives.


Patients at Sparrow Hospital may now access a Patient Cost Estimator portal to assist in making informed decisions about their care.

The portal allows patients to search by the procedure from a menu of 300 services and to provide a customized estimate of out-of-pocket costs given an individual’s insurance details when applicable.

Beginning Jan. 1, all hospitals operating in the U.S. will be required to provide “clear, accessible pricing information online” regarding the items and services providing, including payer-specific reimbursement.

Sparrow’s portal released Wednesday exceeds government requirements by offering individualized estimates of out of pocket costs.

As Sparrow Eaton Hospital approaches 10,000 COVID-19 tests performed and expects increased demand in December, the hospital is relocating its testing site to the AL!VE health park in Charlotte, MI, according to a release Monday.

Starting Dec. 11, Mid-Michigan residents may access the drive-thru lane at the site to receive the COVID-19 PCR nasopharyngeal swab test Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


During the East Lansing City Council discussion only meeting on Tuesday, council members heard from Community and Economic Development Administrator Adam Cummins and Amy Schlusler-Schmitt, community development and engagement manager, on how to support businesses during the pandemic.

Both Cummins and Schlusler-Schmitt discussed upcoming programs including e-gift cards for downtown businesses, a business pop-up art exhibit and a TikTok challenge.

Starting Friday, Dec. 11 residents of East Lansing can go online and purchase e-gift cards, which they can use at various businesses downtown. The city will be offering an additional $20 when you buy at least a $50 gift card.