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State Health Department Director Elizabeth Hertel testifies before state Senate committee

Hertel spoke on issues including the ongoing pandemic, the departure of the previous MDHHS director and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's handling of nursing home patients.

MICHIGAN, USA — Thursday the new Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Elizabeth Hertel testified in front of a state Senate committee. 

Hertel spoke on issues including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the departure of the previous MDHHS Director Robert Gordon and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's handling of nursing homes.

Republican lawmakers are calling for more transparency and have criticized Whitmer and her administration for how she has handled the pandemic.

Watch the full hearing here. 

The Senate Advice and Consent hearing was one of two that Hertel has testified at so far as senators review her appointment to the director position. A group of Republican senators have publicly opposed Hertel leading the department. 

In the over two-hour long hearing Thursday, Hertel was asked multiple questions regarding her predecessor's resignation. She said she had nothing to do with a separation agreement that as The Detroit News first reported resulted in a $155,506 payout in a confidentiality deal. 

Gordon abruptly resigned from the MDHHS back in January, with little explanation why. Earlier this week Gordon released a statement about his departure in a tweet and said it was "great honor to serve as director."

The Senate committee did not vote on Hertel's appointment Thursday, and chair Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, said another hearing was likely. 

RELATED: Robert Gordon releases statement on sudden resignation from MDHHS

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