Wes Nakagiri

Livingston County Commissioner, District 3

April 21, 2020
For Immediate Release

Whitmer Sinking Deeper In COVID Cover-up Quicksand

Hartland, Michigan On April 20, 2020, Michigan’s State Emergency Operations Center issued News Release No. 157 titled, MDHHS Launches Large-scale, Volunteer Contact Tracing Effort; Expands Testing Criteria to Include Any Worker Still Reporting in Person.

“This news release clarifies nothing. Indeed, it raises more questions regarding the Whitmer Administration’s volunteer contact tracing program,” said Livingston County Commissioner Wes Nakagiri. It was Nakagiri who first raised concerns about Michigan citizens’ confidential health-related information being stored in a Democrat voter database.

The MDHHS news release stated, “MDHHS is contracting with Great Lakes Community Engagement, a firm that specializes in outreach campaigns to engage citizens, and Every Action VAN, a voter/individual contact platform used by non-profits, to provide software to help organize remote phone banking and track information and contacts.”

Nakagiri researched the two entities mentioned in the news release and found the following:

  • A website for Great Lakes Community Engagement could not be found when a Google search was performed.
  • The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website shows Great Lakes Community Engagement is an assumed name for K2K Consulting, LLC. Moreover, K2K Consulting, LLC, uses Kolehouse Strategies, another assumed name.
  • As Nakagiri discussed in a prior release, page 45 of the MDHHS contact tracing training document states, “You will be contacted by someone from Kolehouse Strategies to sign up for shifts.”

Nakagiri questioned, “Why did the Whitmer Administration bother to issue the April 20 press release referring to one of their vendors as Great Lakes Community Engagement, when previously released training documents referred to the vendor as Kolehouse Strategies? The Whitmer Administration is still attempting to obfuscate the fact that they selected a partisan Democrat firm to handle confidential health information. Both of these are just front companies for K2K Consulting.”

The news release raises another question with respect to the firm selected by the Whitmer Administration to provide software to help organize remote phone banking and track information and contacts. As Nakagiri discussed in a prior release, previously provided training documents indicated the Whitmer Administration had selected NGP VAN for phone banking and database services. Nakagiri was concerned that NGP VAN, a partisan Democrat-aligned company, was selected to store citizens’ confidential health-related information in their database.

The news release contradicts the training documents. The news release states the Whitmer Administration has contracted with Every Action VAN, not NGP VAN. However, the Detroit Free Press reports that Every Action VAN has “overlapping top leadership with NGP VAN.” “Just as it tried to hide the truth by using two different assumed names for K2K Consulting, LLC, the Whitmer Administration presents two different names for the same phone banking and database company,” said Nakagiri. He added, “Anyone can visit the websites of these two entities and view the photos of leadership for themselves.”

The third issue of concern presented in the news release stems from the statement, “. . . more than 130 MDHHS staff who have been assisting local health departments with case investigation over the past couple weeks and have reached more than 12,000 COVID-positive individuals.”

Nakagiri said, “Did these 130 staff enter the confidential health info into the Democrat-aligned voter database, or did they enter the info into the existing Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS) database? From a data security and confidentiality standpoint, I hope they used the MDSS database.”

Which database was used by the 130 staff is a key question. If in fact, the 130 staff utilized the MDSS database, then Nakagiri questions, “Why wouldn’t MDHHS continue to use the existing MDSS database and avoid the third party altogether?” In contrast, Nakagiri said, “If the 130 staff used the Democrat-aligned voter database, this would contradict a previous statement made to WHMI indicating that MDHSS had not yet awarded the contract.”

Nakagiri went on to say, “By selecting partisan Democrat campaign companies the Whitmer Administration has chosen to politicize the COVID-19 crisis. Had they opted for a non-partisan approach there is at least one company that states they will provide COVID contact tracing services for free. But, ultimately the most secure solution is to use the existing MDSS database.”