Since late June 2020, AMAC has been working with the minority (Republican) members on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to get answers from the governors of New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania and California regarding their decision to defy Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) guidelines, and, instead force nursing homes to admit COVID-19 contagious patients who were discharged from hospitals. A tragic number of seniors in these states perished due to these decisions.
When alerted to these deadly errors in judgment by these states’ governors and after discussion with the Select Committee Republican Members, AMAC Action was asked to assist in this investigation. As a result in July, AMAC members sent over 4500 emails to these governors demanding their accountability regarding their decision to discharge COVID-19 contagious patients from hospitals to nursing homes, causing a disproportionate spike in elderly nursing home deaths in those states.
Now we learn that in an investigative finding published in a scathing report by the NY Attorney General that the state undercounted – little doubt to “cover up — nursing home COVID deaths by up to 5o%!
This led House Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.) on January 28 to renew his call for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to provide all data on nursing home deaths related to Cuomo’s deadly must admit order causing COVID patients to be housed in available space in the nursing homes. Rep. Scalise letter says, in part:
“Considering the shocking new report revealing you and your administration drastically undercounted nursing home deaths in New York state, we write to request your full and immediate response to our previous questions. To date, you and New York State Attorney General Letitia James have failed to respond to [prior] requests posed in three separate letters. The report released today establishes that you ordered COVID-19 positive patients back into nursing homes, this order caused infections and fatalities, and you took concerted efforts to cover it up.”
“…This raises serious concerns and insinuates complicity in thousands of preventable deaths.
“Today it is clear, you ordered COVID-19 positive patients back into nursing homes, this order caused infections and fatalities, and you took concerted efforts to cover it up.”
In another bombshell regarding counting nursing home fatalities in New York, a top aide to Governor Cuomo recently apologized to Democrat lawmakers about an alleged cover-up involving the number of deaths due to the coronavirus in these facilities. Melissa DeRosa, who is the Secretary to the Governor, allegedly expressed her fears of investigation from federal prosecutors if accurate COVID-19 nursing home deaths were disclosed. DeRosa reportedly admitted hiding data from the state after the Trump Administration began looking into nursing home deaths in New York.
Back in August 2020, U.S. Department of Justice joined in the investigation and requested COVID-19 data from governors in four of these states: New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division was to evaluate whether to initiate investigations under the federal “Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act” (CRIPA), which protects the civil rights of persons in state-run nursing homes. The then Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights said at that time:
“Protecting the rights of some of society’s most vulnerable members, including elderly nursing home residents, is one of our country’s most important obligations. We must ensure they are adequately cared for with dignity and respect and not unnecessarily put at risk.”
We hope that actions do not stop with the new Biden administration.
AMAC is continuing the fight to protect susceptible seniors and we will provide updates as they become available. AMAC Action continues to work with the minority members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to assist where we can in these investigations.