Dems Approve Handing Money To States Under Investigation For Failing To Protect Nursing Home Residents

Every Senate Democrat Voted Against Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) Amendment To Prevent Additional Funding Going To States Under Investigation For Underreporting Deaths In Nursing Homes From Coronavirus


All 50 Senate Democrats voted against Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) amendment, including Sens. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Michael Bennet (D-CO). (S.Amdt. 53, S Con.Res.5, Roll Call Vote #15: Amendment Rejected 50-50: D 0-48; R 50-0; I 0-2, 2/04/2021, Kelly, Warnock, Hassan, Cortez Masto, and Bennet voted Nay)

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): “It makes no sense to offer more funding to states that have mismanaged and then covered up their pandemic response… Leaders that neglected their responsibility to protect our elderly populations amid this devastating pandemic must be held accountable. The life-and-death implications of this dereliction of duty have caused tragedy for countless families whose loved ones died in long-term care facilities. They deserve answers.” (Sen. Scott, Press Release, 02/04/2021)


The New York State Attorney General Is Investigating Deaths Related To Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Decision To ‘Send Nursing Home Residents Who Had Been Hospitalized With The Coronavirus Back To The Nursing Homes’

“[T]he New York State attorney general, Letitia James, reported on Thursday morning that [New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo’s administration had undercounted coronavirus-related deaths of state nursing home residents by the thousands. Just hours later, Ms. James was proved correct, as Health Department officials made public new data that added more than 3,800 deaths to their tally, representing nursing home residents who had died in hospitals and had not previously been counted by the state as nursing home deaths. The state’s acknowledgment increased the overall death toll related to those facilities by more than 40 percent. Ms. James’s report had suggested that the state’s previous tally could be off by as much as 50 percent.” (“N.Y. Severely Undercounted Virus Deaths in Nursing Homes, Report Says,” The New York Times, 01/28/2021)

  • “But the report by Ms. James, a fellow Democrat, casts a renewed light on the state’s decision to send nursing home residents who had been hospitalized with the coronavirus back to the nursing homes, a policy that Mr. Cuomo has defended as following federal guidelines. At the same time, Ms. James’s assertion of an undercount of deaths gave credence to theories that the state may have intentionally played down the number of those deaths to avoid blame.” (“N.Y. Severely Undercounted Virus Deaths in Nursing Homes, Report Says,” The New York Times, 01/28/2021)
  • “The attorney general’s report also scrutinized immunity provisions granted to health care providers codified by Mr. Cuomo in the state budget. The report said the protection of immunity may have prompted some nursing homes to make financially motivated decisions at the height of the pandemic, like admitting patients even when the facilities were facing staff shortages or were unequipped to care for them. Indeed, Ms. James’s office is still investigating and weighing legal action stemming from complaints made to her office about shortcomings and neglect that may have placed residents at risk. Those include allegations of nursing homes that failed to isolate Covid-19 patients, maintain stockpiles of personal protective equipment, properly screen employees for the virus or ensure adequate staffing levels even before the pandemic.” (“N.Y. Severely Undercounted Virus Deaths in Nursing Homes, Report Says,” The New York Times, 01/28/2021)
  • “Ms. James said that her office was investigating those circumstances ‘where the discrepancies cannot reasonably be accounted for by error or the difference in the question posed.’ The attorney general said she was continuing to conduct investigations of more than 20 nursing homes across the state that ‘presented particular concern,’ noting that ‘other law enforcement agencies also have ongoing investigations relating to nursing homes.’ Under normal circumstances, the attorney general’s office ‘would issue a report with findings and recommendations after its investigations and enforcement activities are completed,’ Ms. James said in her report. ‘However, circumstances are far from normal.’” (“N.Y. Severely Undercounted Virus Deaths in Nursing Homes, Report Says,” The New York Times, 01/28/2021)



Related Issues: COVID-19, Senate Democrats