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AMAC Supports Rep. Steve Scalise’s Call to Investigate State’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths

AMACAMAC commends Representative Scalise’s efforts to hold accountable those Governors who’s decisions to ignore federal protocols contributed to the disproportionately large number of coronavirus deaths occurring in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

June 18, 2020

The Honorable Steve Scalise
Ranking Member
Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis
H 148 US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Cc: Congressman James Clyburn, Chairman, Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis

Dear Ranking Member Scalise,

On behalf of the over 2.1 million members of AMAC – Association of Mature American Citizens, I write to commend your persistency in holding accountable those Governors who’s decisions to ignore federal protocols contributed to the disproportionately large number of coronavirus deaths occurring in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in their respective states.

As an age 50 plus organization, AMAC is greatly concerned for the health and well-being of seniors who need help with daily activities and other services that can only be provided in a nursing home or assisted living setting. They are already an at-risk demographic for infections and viruses and should not have to endure the additional anxiety of potential exposure to COVID-19 due to the irresponsible actions of their state’s chief executive.

You and your other minority Select Subcommittee members are correct in writing the Governors of New York, Michigan, California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to call for a thorough investigation into the shockingly high number of nursing home deaths due to the coronavirus. For example, we need to know why nursing home deaths in New York, on a per capita basis, are 500% higher than in Florida, which is a retirement state.

The guidance put forth in March by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is well-defined in its instructions for the discharge of elderly patients from hospitals to nursing homes during the pandemic. Why was it overruled by other counselling and executive orders issued by these Governors?

It is a shame that Democrat Select Subcommittee members feel the need to play politics with the estimated 40,000 COVID-19 deaths of elderly nursing home and assisted living facility residents by attempting to shift blame for these tragedies to CMS. Their argument that CMS guidance was “unclear” is at best, weak. Their politicization of these unfortunate deaths is further evidenced by that fact that they all refused to sign the letter calling for these state investigations.

Thank you, Ranking Member Scalise, for working to create a comprehensive strategy to protect our nation’s elderly. You recognize both that we are in a precarious situation should there be a resurgence of the coronavirus, and by investigating the failed policies of the last few months will enable us to learn from these mistakes so we may avoid repeating them.

Sincerely,

Bob Carlstrom
President,
AMAC Action

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