‘Misled the Public:’ Oversight Launches Investigation into Nursing Home COVID Deaths

Republicans on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis and the House Oversight Committee have joined forces in an investigation over the thousands of nursing home deaths in New York state during COVID, saying New York Democrats ignored previous inquiries.

The controversy began in 2020 when thousands of New York nursing home residents died during the pandemic, drawing extra scrutiny to then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s policy of sending elderly patients recovering from COVID-19 into nursing homes.

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Analysis: Professors and Media Tout Powerful COVID-Killing Technology

Near the top of its home page, the New York Times has published an essay by three professors about a “highly effective” technology to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in “high-risk environments” like nursing homes and places prone to “superspreader events.” Based on more than 500 hours of research, the institute Just Facts identified the same technology in September 2021 and promoted it to scholars, public officials, journalists, and commentators. However, most of them ignored the research while big tech suppressed it, thus costing countless lives.

The technology, called ultraviolet air disinfection, has been proven to stop the spread of contagious respiratory diseases in settings like schools and hospitals for more than 80 years. It is so effective that when it was used in a wing of a California VA hospital during the Asian influenza epidemic of 1958—not a single patient caught the disease. In contrast, the epidemic struck the other wing of the same hospital “with explosive force,” producing a “severe, prostrating illness” among 19% of the patients.

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Michigan Attorney General Nessel: Report Refutes Allegation State Undercounted Nursing Home COVID Deaths

A January 2022 Office of Auditor General’s (OAG) report alleging Michigan undercounted COVID nursing home deaths by 42%, or 2,386 is being refuted by an analysis shared by Attorney General Dana Nessel. 

Nessel released a further analysis tracked by the Health, Education, and Family Services Division within the Department of Attorney General.

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Governor Whitmer Touts ‘Delivering for Older Michiganders,’ Despite Newly-Released Report on Nursing Home Deaths

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Saturday touted her record for “delivering for older Michiganders,” ahead of her State of the State address.

Seemingly, the governor ignored a recent report that demonstrated thousands of additional deaths in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that were not reported by her administration’s Department of Health and Human Services.

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Michigan Orders Nursing Homes to Offer on-Site COVID Boosters

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) ordered nursing homes statewide to provide on-site COVID-19 vaccines to residents within 30 days.

“With the Omicron variant rapidly spreading across our state and cases of COVID-19 continuing to remain high, we want to make sure our most vulnerable Michiganders are protected from the virus,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement. “The COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense against the virus, and we want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to get up to date.”

Under the order, nursing homes must offer on-site doses of COVID-19 vaccines to residents who are not up to date as of Jan. 20, 2022. The order doesn’t force residents to get vaccinated.

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Michigan Lawmakers Demand Answers on Nursing Home Deaths Report

Multiple Michigan lawmakers are demanding answers to a report from the Michigan Office of the Auditor General that detailed thousands of additional COVID-related deaths in long-term care facilities across the state.

The analysis discovered more than 2,000 additional deaths than reported by Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Department of Health and Human Services.

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Republican Governors Association Blasts Whitmer over Nursing Home Deaths

The Republican Governors Association on Monday blasted Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, after a new analysis detailed thousands of additional deaths in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

The Michigan Auditor General explained in a report that roughly 2,400 more individuals died from the virus than previously reported by state agencies.

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Andrew Cuomo Personally Made Changes to Report Downplaying COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths

Andrew Cuomo

On Monday, an explosive report by the New York State Assembly revealed that former Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) himself made direct edits to the initial report on how many senior citizens died of the Chinese coronavirus in New York nursing homes, as the Daily Caller reports.

The report from the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is the culmination of an eight-month impeachment investigation against the disgraced former governor. The report says that Cuomo directed the New York Department of Health (DOH) to reduce the total number of fatalities by thousands so as to push back on criticism of Cuomo’s decision in March of 2020 to force COVID-positive patients into nursing homes, which infected and killed thousands of other senior citizens.

The original draft of the report prepared by DOH officials showed over 10,000 total nursing home deaths, but upon Cuomo’s insistence, it was reduced to about 6,500.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Shuffles Elderly Agencies as Auditor General Nursing Home Death Report Looms

hands of an elderly person

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is reorganizing agencies providing services to the elderly, as an auditor general report on coronavirus-related nursing home deaths looms.

The new Health and Aging Services Administration will reportedly provide better communication between agencies with the goal of increasing efficiency. 

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U.S. Senators Call for Investigation into Michigan and Other States that Sent COVID Patients to Nursing Homes

Republican members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Friday urged that committee’s chair to commence an investigation into the decisions of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) and several other governors to discharge COVID-19-infected patients into their states’ nursing homes in 2020.

In addition to Whitmer, Tom Wolf (D-PA), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and Phil Murphy (D-NJ) are specifically criticized in the letter written to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL).

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Prosecutor Says Whitmer Could Face Criminal Charges over Nursing Home Deaths

Facing a situation similar to New York’s embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is now under scrutiny from prosecutors about COVID-19 deaths in Michigan’s nursing homes. 

“If we find there’s been willful neglect of office if we find there’s been reckless endangerment of a person’s life by bringing them in then we would move forward with charges against the Governor,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido told WXZY. “Of course, we would. Nobody’s above the law in this state.”

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Fifty Michigan Lawmakers Ask Feds to Investigate Gov. Whitmer’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Policies

State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, and 50 Republican lawmakers on Wednesday formally asked for a federal investigation into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s controversial policy that placed COVID-19 positive patients into Michigan nursing homes.

The letter follows the exposure of a $155,506 secret taxpayer-funded payment for state health Director Robert Gordon that included a confidentiality agreement for the person responsible for crafting the state’s COVID-19 nursing home policies.

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Report: Nursing Homes See Sharp Drop in COVID Cases Since Vaccines Started

Nursing homes in the U.S. are seeing the lowest number of new COVID cases since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began tracking the data in May 2020,according to a new report from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).

The health care groups, which represent 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities in the U.S. that provide care to about five million people annually, say ythe study shows that the COVID-19 vaccines are working.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Under Fire for Nursing Home COVID Policy

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) could be the subject of an investigation regarding her handling of nursing home patients who contracted COVID-19. 

“Gov. Whitmer’s regional hub policy placed patients with and without COVID-19 in the same facilities and may have exacerbated the death toll in those facilities,” said state Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) in a press release. “Questions remain regarding the accuracy of data, compliance with CDC guidelines and compliance with our state’s Freedom of Information Act. There is a critical need for a full investigation into these matters.”

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True COVID-19 Long-Term Care Death Toll a Mystery in Michigan

Michiganders still don’t know how many lives COVID-19 claimed in all categories of long-term care facilities, although the state has been collecting the data since May 29.

Other states such as Minnesota have already reported the information, breaking down the deaths in nursing homes, memory care, and hospice facilities. 

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Gov. Cuomo Calls Criticisms of NY’s Nursing Home Deaths ‘Political’ as Damaging Reports Stack Up

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed suggestions Monday that local officials are undercounting coronavirus deaths at nursing homes while a several reports indicate the state inaccurately measured how the virus affected long-term care facilities.

New York will not conduct an investigation into nursing home deaths during the pandemic, Cuomo said during a press conference Monday. His insistence that there is no controversy comes after media reports show the state only counts people who died on nursing home property and not those who died after being transferred to hospitals.

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Gov. Whitmer Vetoes Bill Designed to Protect Nursing Home Residents

Gov. Whitmer on Friday vetoed Senate Bill 956, legislation that would have prohibited the admission of COVID-19 patients into nursing homes.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby, and was passed by the Senate on June 24. The bill was approved by the state House of Representatives on July 22.

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Gov. Cuomo’s Order Sent More Than 6,000 Coronavirus Patients into Nursing Homes, Officials Say

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s orders sent more than 6,300 coronavirus patients to nursing homes at the height of the pandemic, new numbers from state officials show.

Thousands of elderly coronavirus patients died after Cuomo issued an order March 25 mandating assisted-living facilities admit coronavirus patients, and state officials are now reporting that the number of admitted carriers is even higher than previous estimates.

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Michigan AG Nessel Will Comply with U.S. House ‘Partisan’ Request to Investigate Whitmer’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Policies

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel defiantly responded to a letter from U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., regarding the number of nursing home deaths in the state attributed to COVID-19.

Scalise is ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Coronavirus. His June 25 letter – also signed by Reps. Jim Jordan, R- Ohio; Blaine Luetkeymer, R-Mo.; and Jackie Walorski, R-Ind. – followed a similar letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to which she did not respond.

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Scrutiny Intensifies as Congressional Republicans Probe Michigan’s COVID-19 Reponse

senior citizen

Congressional Republicans intensified their questioning of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter asking Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that placed COVID-19 patients into the same buildings, but different units, as elderly nursing home residents.

They also sought investigations into four other state governors who set similar policies.

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U.S Republicans Ask Nessel to Investigate Whitmer’s COVID-19 Policy; Whitmer Creates Nursing Home Task Force

Congressional Republicans intensified their questioning of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter asking Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that placed COVID-19 patients into the same buildings, but different units, as elderly nursing home residents.

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House Republicans Ask Whitmer to Rescind COVID-19 Nursing Home Policy

House Republicans on Monday asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to rescind her policy that requires recovering COVID-19 patients to be placed in isolated parts of designated nursing homes.

“Nursing homes have the very frailest of our population,” Rep. Kathy Crawford, R-Novi, told The Center Square. “Very many of them are bedridden. Nursing homes don’t have enough staff to take care of the daily needs of people who are in nursing homes.”

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Medicare to Ratchet up Enforcement Against Nursing Homes as Coronavirus Fatalities Exceed 25,000

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled enhanced enforcement actions on Monday against nursing homes after preliminary federal data shows that at least 25,923 nursing home residents across the country have died from coronavirus.

“This data, and anecdotal reports across the country, clearly show that nursing homes have been devastated by the virus,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma and Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield wrote in a letter to U.S. governors on Sunday.

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Health Care Group: It Would Cost $440 Million to Provide 3 Million Tests for All Nursing Home Residents and Workers

Testing every nursing home resident and care facility worker in the U.S. for COVID-19 would cost $440 million in federal and state funding, a health care group found. 

Doing so would require almost 3 million tests, according to the American Health Care Association’s National Center for Assisted Living, an industry group representing nursing homes and assisted living centers that calculated how much it would cost for states to receive adequate funding so all resident and care facility workers could be tested.

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Cuomo Reverses, Says Nursing Homes Can Refuse COVID-Positive Patients

Gov. Andrew Cuomo partially reversed a March executive order Sunday that prevented nursing homes from denying admission of patients who tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Patients must now test negative for the virus before hospitals can admit them to assisted living facilities, Cuomo said during an Albany press briefing Sunday.

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