Senator Doug Mastriano represents the thirty third Senate District, which incorporates all of Adams County, and parts of Franklin, Cumberland and York counties.
In March 2020, Governor Wolf confronted an important choice within the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC issued steerage for long run care services to all 50 States. “Steerage” is the necessary phrase right here as this was not a “directive” to every Governor.
The March thirteenth CDC steerage acknowledged that nursing houses “ought to” admit any people that they’d usually admit (with or with out COVID). But it surely didn’t say that they “should” admit these people.
The governors of forty-five out of the all fifty states adopted the science and rejected the absurd, science denying concept of sending sick COVID sufferers into essentially the most weak inhabitants. Nevertheless, the governors of 5 states (Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Michigan and California), foolishly and recklessly rejected science-based germ principle and had their respective well being secretaries challenge steerage to ship the sick again into long run care services.
For Pennsylvania, this catastrophic choice was made earlier than lots of the different states. On March 18th, Pennsylvania Well being Secretary Levine issued the now notorious directive to long run care services to simply accept COVID optimistic residents after launch from hospitals.
It’s tragically ironic that the identical people who espouse the mantra of “imagine in science” fully ignored their very own platitude. The information was clear earlier than the March 18th directive that people over the age of 65 and people with underlying well being situation had been on the biggest threat of extreme sickness and loss of life. The Wolf Administration was conscious of this and nonetheless made the disastrous choice.
The following fallout from the March 18th directive was predictable. The admission of COVID-positive residents into nursing houses accelerated the transmission of the virus and uncovered our state’s most weak residents to extreme sickness and loss of life. By Could, instances of the virus in nursing houses unfold like wildfire. Roughly two-thirds of COVID deaths on the time had been residents of long-term care services. In a number of counties, 100% of all COVID deaths had been in these very services.
Privately, Secretary Levine realized the failure of the coverage six weeks after the fateful choice. At the moment, 70% of all deaths in Pennsylvania had been because of Levine’s science-denying directive. Fearing for the protection of her personal mother (then 95 years outdated and in an elder house), Levine whisked her out of the power and into the protection of a resort suite. As a substitute of getting the ethical fortitude to alert Pennsylvania of the hazard that resulted from this failed coverage, Levine by no means gave the residents of our state the identical likelihood or warning to guard their very own family members. By the way, the world discovered of Levine’s sinister habits the day after I demanded her resignation for incompetence and gross negligence in Could 2020.
The folks of our state discovered themselves reduce off from their family members resulting from Levine’s fateful choice to ship the sick into the nursing houses. Households had been denied entry to their mother and father. Reviews of neglect, hopelessness and despair had been reported as hundreds upon hundreds had been left to die deserted and alone. Tragic tales of lovely folks, who had been good residents, lived good lives within the commonwealth, and served their county with valor, had been condemned to a lonely and remoted loss of life reduce off from their households and family members.
As a substitute of being met with condemnation and investigation for her choice making, Secretary Levine was rewarded with a promotion and a Presidential appointment to the united statesDepartment of Well being and Human Providers. Governor Wolf was fast to congratulate, stating ridiculously “the regular hand and calm strategy had been crucial to managing Pennsylvania’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The mainstream media was nowhere to be discovered. As a substitute of exposing the incompetence of our secretary of well being, they doubled down on defending Levine, and lauding reward upon the secretary’s dealing with of the disaster.
Sadly that “regular hand” was the identical which signed off on a coverage resulting in the struggling and loss of life of our aged. There isn’t any “regular hand” with the loss of life of 12,600 of our pricey family members. As a substitute of being held accountable or resigning in disgrace for the deaths that had been attributable to these science denying insurance policies, Levine has since been “promoted” to an excellent a extra highly effective place within the Biden Administration. The place is the justice and outrage? Since when is failure promoted and praised? What about those that died because of Levine’s incompetence?
Immediately, greater than half of Pennsylvania’s COVID deaths are traced to long run care services. The official quantity is simply over 12,600 deaths.
Whereas that determine is staggering alone, the query should be requested. Is the 12,600-figure correct or is it as undercounted because the figures had been in New York?
In January, a report by the New York Legal professional Normal revealed that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Administration intentionally undercounted nursing house deaths within the state by over 50%.
Since Governor Wolf has sought to emulate his companion up north on nearly each COVID coverage and technique, is it farfetched to marvel if Pennsylvania’s long-term care deaths are intentionally undercounted as nicely?
Highlight PA reported in September that weekly reviews launched by the PA Division of Well being had been constantly lacking loss of life and case information for greater than 100 of the state’s 693 nursing houses.
This previous summer time, dozens of county coroners questioned and refuted the numbers of COVID deaths reported by the Wolf Administration. There’s something nefarious right here and it appears to be like just like the long-term well being care loss of life charges might have the identical irregularities right here in Pennsylvania as we see in New York.
For example, the newest Division of Well being weekly report from March tenth exhibits that 138 services are nonetheless exhibiting “no information” for variety of COVID deaths.
It took braveness for the Legal professional Normal in New York to analyze the insurance policies of her personal Administration and reveal the undercounting of reported deaths.
Sadly, Pennsylvania Legal professional Normal Josh Shapiro has turned his consideration to investigating the services who had been pressured into a nasty place to start with. In Could, the AG acknowledged that “we’ll maintain nursing services and caretakers criminally accountable in the event that they fail to correctly present care to our family members.” But, Mr. Shapiro refuses to analyze the choice making of the Wolf Administration and the accuracy of the reported deaths.
It’s time for a full investigation into the dealing with of COVID-19 in long run care services. It’s the least we will do to make sure that our most weak inhabitants is rarely handled like this once more.
The query that should be answered is how did such science denying choices happen in our state and who shall be held accountable for the 12,600 deaths of our pricey family members? We demand to know the reality and these households should see that those that destroyed so many lives are held accountable. We owe it to their households to resolve why this directive was issued and the true extent of its tragic results.