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Joyce, PA Republicans Ask AG Shapiro for COVID-19 Nursing Home Report

Washington, DC – Today Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13) and fellow Republicans asked Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro for answers on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 nursing home guidance and requested a report on the admittance of COVID-19 positive individuals in long-term care facilities.

“The Wolf Administration’s decision to admit COVID-19 positive individuals to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities undoubtably cost lives. Nearly a year later, we still do not understand the full consequences of this tragic policy,” said Dr. Joyce. “Grieving families deserve answers. It’s time for the truth to be brought into the light, and I urge Attorney General Shapiro to release a transparent and honest report on this policy’s impact on Pennsylvania’s long-term care facilities.”

Dr. Joyce and Congressman Dan Meuser (PA-9) were joined by fellow Pennsylvania members of the U.S. House of Representatives including Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15), Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-16), Congressman Scott Perry (PA-10), Congressman Lloyd Smucker (PA-11), Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), and Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12).

“One of the primary causes of the large number of nursing home fatalities in New York was the state government’s order that nursing homes admit COVID-19 positive individuals. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) issued a similar guidance on March 18, 2020, requiring that nursing homes allow new admissions and re-admissions, including individuals that had been diagnosed with COVID-19,” they wrote. “Public reporting from PA DOH indicates that more than half of the COVID-19 related deaths in Pennsylvania have been attributable to nursing and personal home care populations.”

Read the full letter below:

February 16, 2021

The Honorable Josh Shapiro
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Dear Attorney General Shapiro:

As you may have seen, the Attorney General of New York recently released a report on their office’s ongoing investigation related to nursing homes and their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most troubling revelations of this report is that COVID-19 nursing home fatalities were undercounted by roughly 50 percent in New York State.

One of the primary causes of the large number of nursing home fatalities in New York was the state government’s order that nursing homes admit COVID-19 positive individuals. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) issued a similar guidance on March 18, 2020, requiring that nursing homes allow new admissions and re-admissions, including individuals that had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Public reporting from PA DOH indicates that more than half of the COVID-19 related deaths in Pennsylvania have been attributable to nursing and personal home care populations.

We have heard from many Pennsylvanians that are concerned with the state policies that put nursing and personal care home facility residents at risk. Does your office plan to offer a similar report as the New York State Attorney General’s office? What is your plan to ensure that all publicly available information on this important topic is reliable and accurate?

Please contact us if we can be helpful in any way.

The full text of the letter also is available here.  

 

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