What fills the void when public information is concealed? Maybe conspiracy theories

For more than a year, Craig Mauger, a state government reporter for The Detroit News, has been waiting on a request for State of Michigan documents related to nursing homes during the pandemic.

He told WDET he’s also waiting on documents related to a sudden change in leadership at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Mauger says the pandemic has worsened transparency in Michigan, which already ranked among the worst in the nation.

“In some ways this goes back to all of the conspiracy theories we’re hearing and all of the misinformation that’s out there in this void of honest and accurate, detailed information,” Mauger told WDET. “Conspiracy theories can come in and fill the void with stuff we can’t prove or disprove because we don’t have the information.”