Last year, in April 2020, California Globe reported the California Department of Public Health was suspending nursing home relegations to allow for COVID-19 patients to be “discharged to a Skilled Nursing Facility when clinically indicated.” This directive was ordered despite too many stories about nursing home infections, deaths surge amid lockdown measures, and in San Bernardino County, “Dozens of residents of California nursing home hit with COVID-19 and 2 have died.”
Following deadly COVID outbreaks in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, they were under a strict lockdown, and not even allowing spouses and family to visit elderly loved ones.
California Globe contacted the Department of Public Health and asked, “Is the CDPH suspending the very regulations that keep patients safe from abuse and incompetence?” and “Does this mean COVID-19 patients may be sent to nursing facilities?”
The response from the public health department included links to more directives.
Then U.S. Justice Department announced in August 2020 it was considering investigating whether four states led by Democratic governors violated the civil rights of the elderly by requiring nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients, a practice which critics say led to thousands of deaths, Yahoo News reported. “The department said it was seeking COVID-19 data related to nursing homes from four states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan.”
The Globe said at the time that the DOJ needed to add California to this investigation. But nothing happened.
Thursday, Republican members of the U.S. House Oversight Committee announced they are investigating five Democratic governors for their decision to mandate nursing homes to take untested, if not COVID-19 positive, patients during the pandemic, and Gov. Gavin Newsom is one of those being investigated.
“The five Democratic governors, most of the leading Trump administration antagonists in some of the blue states where the coronavirus caused the most infections and deaths in the U.S., received letters, Newsmax reported:
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.
- Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.
“This is shaping up to be an investigation into whom to blame for nursing home deaths, the federal government or the Democratic states that forced nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients before they were prepared to handle them, according to the GOP members of the House Oversight Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis,” Newsmax reported.
“We write to you seeking information, at a granular level, about the science and information used to inform your decision to mandate nursing homes and long-term care facilities admit untested and contagious COVID-19 patients from hospitals,” the letters, obtained by Newsmax TV’s Robinson, read. “This decision likely contributed to the thousands of elderly deaths in [state specific].”
Back in August 2020, the Globe reported:
“We’ve learned that COVID patients are worth $800 per day, compared to the $200 per day for long-term patients with mild health concerns or dementia,” the Globe reported. “It is not a stretch to see that COVID patients are a money maker for nursing homes.”
“With coordinated news reports curiously now claiming there will be another spike in COVID, what better way to ensure the spiked numbers than by sending COVID patients into nursing homes? It’s a death sentence to the elderly.”
California Globe contacted the California Department of Public Health in March and asked, “Is the CDPH suspending the very regulations that keep patients safe from abuse and incompetence?” and “Does this mean COVID-19 patients may be sent to nursing facilities?”
CDPH answered the first question but not the second question. The April 1 directive states only “Patients with no clinical concern for COVID-19 may be transferred from hospitals to SNFs following usual procedures.”
As the Globe reported, “The bottom line is that the California Department of Public Health was directing skilled nursing facilities to take in COVID-19 patients, but at what cost and why with plenty of hospital beds available? California never experienced a surge or spike of COVID patients. CDPH acknowledges that the elderly patients already in skilled nursing facilities are ‘California’s most vulnerable,’ so why would they send any COVID-19 patients to facilities with the most frail and vulnerable patients?”
The letters requesting the investigation into the five governors are signed by the five GOP members on the 12-member subcommittee:
- Rep. Scalise.
- Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
- Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.
- Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind.
- Rep. Mark E. Green, R-Tenn.