House Minority Whip Steve Scalise is demanding answers from five Democratic governors who ordered nursing homes to accept patients who could be COVID positive.
Scalise, joined by other House Republicans serving on the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, sent letters to Gov. Gavin Newsom (California), Gov. Tom Wolf (Pennsylvania), Gov. Phil Murphy (New Jersey), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (New York). (RELATED: ‘Make No Mistake, We Want Answers’: Janice Dean Calls For Accountability In Andrew Cuomo’s Nursing Home COVID Crisis)
Scalise said that those governors who had ordered nursing homes to accept patients regardless of their COVID status had ignored federal guidelines and risked thousands of lives — and he felt that their citizens deserved answers.
“We owe it to those who died and their grieving families to get to the bottom of why these deadly decisions were made by these governors,” Scalise explained.
READ the letters to:
Governor Cuomo: https://t.co/TMOyQkyFNb
Governor Whitmer: https://t.co/ml5o83252B
Governor Newsom: https://t.co/IdWu0CJvX6
Governor Wolf: https://t.co/sYluzWmhzD
Governor Murphy: https://t.co/qbb5KOlgTp
— Select Committee Republicans (@SelectGOP) June 15, 2020
Scalise made an appearance Tuesday on “Fox & Friends” to discuss the move.
Host Ainsley Earhardt began by asking Scalise for the latest update, saying, “You’ve exposed a lot of this. You said the tragedy was avoidable. What’s the latest today?”
“Well, Ainsley, we’re still trying to get more information, but 40% of all the nursing homes deaths in America came down to five states who violated and contradicted the CMS guidelines that were out, that were very clear, that told states how to properly handle nursing home patients who were COVID positive and most of those states, 45 of those states followed the guideline, Republican and Democrat governors alike, but five states for whatever reason chose to go a different direction, a dangerous and a deadly direction, that ended up killing thousands of nursing homes patients unnecessarily,” Scalise explained.
He went on to say that Congress planned to get to the bottom of those decisions and determine why those orders were given and how many patients and families were truly impacted as a result.
“What is their excuse, what’s the reason?” Earhardt pressed, noting that everyone had been warned even in the very early stages of the pandemic that elderly patients were the highest risk category.
“Look, 80% of the nursing homes in America got this right, 45 of the states in this country got this right, but five states decided they are going to do their own thing,” Scalise said, noting that Cuomo had taken things a step further and ordered nursing homes to not even test the patients before taking them back.
“This turned out to be a death sentence for thousands of seniors in each of these states’ nursing homes,” Scalise concluded. “It was heartbreaking to see it happen. I’ve asked the governors to come testify and explain why they did this and also, to give us the data that they have. They just stopped reporting it to the public.”