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How Democrats Ignored Science To Kill Thousands Of Senior Citizens

Coronavirus Nursing Homes
Democrats and other liberals, who regularly claim to be “the Party of science” or to govern according to scientific principles have a woeful record of actually following science when it conflicts with political correctness or their lust for power. This is particularly true when political correctness conflicts with the science of mammalian reproduction and the germ theory of disease.

The tragic results of liberal ignorance of science, or rather their willful defiance of its precepts, played out in nursing homes across the Northeast as COVID-19 began to spread through the region’s major metropolitan areas.

David Robinson, Stacey Barchenger and Kelly Powers of the USA Today Network, Jo Ciavaglia, of the Bucks County Courier Times and Tania Savayan of the Journal News in New York compiled a truly astonishing and heartbreaking report on how public officials ignored obvious infection control measures and sentenced thousands of nursing home residents to their deaths.

On March 29, as Pennsylvania, New York and other states began ordering nursing homes to admit medically stable residents infected with the coronavirus, national trade groups warned it could unnecessarily cost more lives.

The health directives put “frail and older adults who reside in nursing homes at risk” and would “result in more people going to the hospital and more deaths,” the American Health Care Association and affiliates said at the time.

A month later, it appears government officials should have heeded the dire call to pursue different pandemic emergency plans the reporters wrote.

The deadly virus spread like wildfire through many nursing homes across the Northeast, and state officials are now finally scrambling to better protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The death toll is devastating, according to interviews the reporters conducted with nursing-home officials, patients’ families, health-care advocates, government officials and from an examination of state records by the USA Today Network Atlantic Group, a consortium of 37 Gannettt-owned daily newspapers across the Northeast.

At least 3,043 people have died inside New York nursing homes due to COVID-19 complications, or about 17% of the state’s 18,015 deaths as of Wednesday.

In Pennsylvania, about 65% of coronavirus deaths were nursing-home residents, and in counties in the hardest hit southeastern part of the state, long-term care residents account for as much as 80% of county deaths.

New Jersey had 3,200 residents of long-term care homes die due to complications from the virus, about 40% of the statewide total.

About 58% of the deaths in Delaware lived in nursing homes, and 46% of the fatalities in Maryland were at nursing homes, prompting Gov. Larry Hogan to order residents and staff members at nursing homes be tested for coronavirus.

Meanwhile, advocates and residents’ relatives have criticized state and federal officials, as well as some nursing homes, for failing to address the crisis as deaths mounted.

“To have a mandate that nursing homes accept COVID-19 patients has put many people in grave danger,” said Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition in New York.

“We know facilities have a lot of infection-control problems, we know that facilities have low staff, so what do you think was going to happen when the staff were further strained in caring for these patients?”

Amid the pushback, New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker on Wednesday issued an advisory warning nursing homes they could face fines or lose their license if they didn’t properly isolate COVID-19-infected residents, citing state health law.

The letter noted nursing homes incapable of isolating contagious residents should transfer them to other medical facilities and stop admitting additional residents.

New Jersey’s Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli took a similar step on April 13, clarifying how the state’s nursing homes could deny admitting infected patients.

However, the truth is that central to the nursing home crisis was ignoring the threat to the lives of the elderly patients by making the early focus of the states’ efforts on preventing coronavirus patients from overwhelming hospitals.

Massive convention centers and college buildings were converted into temporary hospitals in New York and New Jersey as infections mounted, and hospitals in other states braced to handle surges in COVID-19 patients.

But on March 18, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine directed licensed long-term care facilities to continue admitting new patients, including those discharged from hospitals but unable to go home, and to readmit current patients after hospital stays.

“This may include stable patients who have had the COVID-19 virus,” according to a copy of the guidelines.

Continued admission of COVID-19 recoverees was ordered “to alleviate the increasing burden in the acute care settings,” according to the directive. But hospitals in most counties were never overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.

According to our research, similar directives were issued in New York.

Pennsylvania is among six states reporting long-term care infection data where deaths in long-term care facilities account for more than half of overall coronavirus deaths, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a national nonprofit that focuses on health care issues.

According to the USA Today reporting team, on March 31, the New Jersey Department of Health told the state’s long-term care facilities that they could not deny admission or re-admission based on a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

The state needed to make room in its hospitals for the growing number of COVID-19 cases and turned to nursing homes to take over the care of some patients.

At the time, there were fewer than 1,000 known cases in long-term care facilities, which includes nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other care homes.

Not even two weeks later, the number of cases had climbed to more than 5,200.

Nursing home leaders contend state and federal officials have failed to provide adequate resources and guidance during the pandemic, the Gannett team reported.

From insufficient coronavirus testing and personal protective equipment shortages, they said the dereliction of duty helped ignite and fuel the outbreak in nursing homes.

“Frankly, I think we’ve been neglected, and we’re still neglected,” said Dr. Elaine Healy, vice president of the New York Medical Directors Association.

“When the focus started being put on us through the efforts of the press, the response has been to sort of look at us in a negative way,” she said, citing New York authorities launching investigations into COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes.

“This is really a series of forest fires burning in different facilities that we didn’t start,” she added.

Strikingly, Italian officials issued similar orders for nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients on March 8, a move under investigation by authorities for contributing to potentially preventable deaths, according to the Associated Press.

Despite push back on state decisions to send infected patients into nursing homes, some administrators say there was no other option.

“Our facilities were ultimately the release valve” for overwhelmed hospitals, Jordan Strohl, the administrator at The Actors Fund Home in Englewood in Bergen County, the epicenter of the outbreak in New Jersey, told the USA Today reporting team.

Nursing home outbreaks represent 19% of all total positive cases in Maryland and 46% of all deaths. There have been outbreaks or clusters of cases at 278 different facilities across the state, including 4,011 confirmed cases at 143 different Maryland nursing homes.

“Even when best practices and care is in place, this virus may still be transmitted by asymptomatic staff, meaning that every patient interaction comes with some risk,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said at a press briefing.

But that risk has been ignored and nursing homes given conflicting guidance from New York authorities obsessed with political correctness. Chrissy Clark, social media manager and staff writer at The Federalist reported New York Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zukcer reiterated Governor Cuomo’s orders and told the New York Times nursing homes are not permitted to “discriminate” against coronavirus patients.

“No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to [nursing homes] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,” the advisory reads.

According to the New York Times’s latest analysis of the coronavirus, the disease has plagued nursing home and elderly care facilities in a disproportionate manner, killing upwards of 10,500 residents and staff in such facilities nationwide. That’s nearly one-fifth of the U.S. coronavirus death total.

California and New Jersey joined Cuomo in instituting rules that forced nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients. The next time Democrats claim to be “the Party of science” we hope someone asks them if they believe in the germ theory of disease and if so, why their leading governors sent thousands of coronavirus-infected people to spread those germs to elderly nursing home patients, killing more than 10,000 of them.

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Recall, Replace, Repeat

Class actions should be encouraged for those classless Democrats and their murder machine nanny-state stupidity. I hope a fresh batch of ambulance chaser attorneys newly minted from the nation's leftist universities, emerges from the cocoon of socialist professor dream-speak, hungry to spread capitalist wings. May they gather the families of the forgotten and whip them into a class action frenzy to sue the guilty governors and socialist states (deeper) into insolvency.