Today – as part of their combined efforts with the Republican members of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis – members of the Pennsylvania Republican Congressional Delegation, including Congressman GT Thompson, Congressman Mike Kelly, Congressman Scott Perry, Congressman Lloyd Smucker, Congressman Guy Reschenthaler, Congressman Dan Meuser, Congressman John Joyce, and Congressman Fred Keller, made the following statement following a briefing conducted for their offices by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office:
- On March 13, 2020, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance “For Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes.”
- The March 13 guidance said that “nursing homes should admit any individual that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present” only if the nursing home can follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) quarantining guidance.
- CMS Administrator Seema Verma later said, “[u]nder no circumstances should a hospital discharge a patient to a nursing home that is not prepared to take care of those patient’s needs.”
- Despite these warnings, however, governors of multiple states – including Pennsylvania – issued guidance and executive orders forcing nursing homes to admit people with the virus, thereby encouraging the spread to those vulnerable populations.
- While nursing home residents make up 0.6% of the U.S. and Pennsylvaniapopulations, they account for 43% of America’s coronavirus deaths and 68% of the Commonwealth’s coronavirus deaths.
- The letter to AG Shapiro came after Republicans on the Select Subcommittee for Coronavirus Crisis sent a request for information about the nursing home order to Governor Wolf. His administration’s initial response can be found here.
- So far, AG Shapiro is the first and only one of the five Attorneys General that House Republicans sent letters to last week to have given an update briefing like this.