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Scalise Asks Dems To Hold Governors Accountable Who Sent COVID Patients To Nursing Homes

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Rep. Steve Scalise, R-LA, is putting governors on notice who ordered nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients knowing they were most vulnerable to it leading to thousands of avoidable deaths.

Scalise, who is the Ranking Member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, opened the subcommittee’s briefing Thursday by demanding that the governors who implemented the deadly policy be held accountable. Moreover, he’s sending a letter requesting answers from state leaders.

“The decision of several governors to essentially mandate COVID-positive patients go back to their nursing homes ended up being a death sentence, Scalise said. “New York has suffered 6,318 deaths in nursing homes. New Jersey – 6,327. Compare that to Florida – a retirement state – 1,454. On a per-capita basis, nursing home deaths in New York are 500 percent higher than Florida and New Jersey is 1,120 percent higher than Florida.”

“Other states, like Michigan, California, and Pennsylvania that forced COVID-positive patients back to nursing homes have similar, tragic disparities.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued the original guidance for nursing homes on February, 6. The first nursing home outbreak, however, was after the CMS had issued that warning. From there, states continued to ignore CMS’s orders throughout the months of March and April.

Scalise added, “But unfortunately, on March 25th, Governor Cuomo’s health department issued a directive in contradiction to CMS guidance by mandating nursing homes to take COVID-19 positive patients.  New Jersey essentially copied New York’s order – also with deadly results. Two weeks earlier, Governor DeSantis of Florida prohibited transferring COVID-19 positive patients from hospitals to nursing homes. Very different orders yielded very different results.”

“On March 18th, Pennsylvania also issued guidance mandating nursing homes continue to accept new admissions and readmissions including patients that have COVID-19. While defending this decision, Pennsylvania’s own Health Secretary moved her mother out of a nursing home,” Scalise said.

“On April 15th, the Governor of Michigan issued a similar Executive Order mandating nursing homes accept patients regardless of COVID-19 status. Michigan State Democratic Representative Leslie Love criticized the Governor’s reckless order calling it ‘an epic fail.’  Mr. Chairman, shockingly, that order remains in effect today. I call on Governor Whitmer to rescind this order immediately and I hope my colleagues will join me in standing up for the patients and families in Michigan.”

Scalise is also asking his fellow subcommittee members to sign onto his letter to the governors.

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American and Southwest stand by vaccine mandate, despite Abbott’s ban

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American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are still planning to comply with President Biden’s executive order regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The order requires all their employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 8t. As a result, they will be ignoring Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates.

Abbott announced his own executive order, effectively banning mandates even from private employers, on Tuesday. “In another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.”

Yet both airlines are requiring their employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 24. This comes despite Southwest’s impromptu cancellation of over 2,000 flights over the weekend. At the time, the airline blamed the cancellations on air traffic control and weather conditions. However, SaraACarter.com was unable to verify that any other airline had to cancel near as many flights for the same reasons. This has left many to speculate that Southwest actually cancelled flights due to their employees walking out as a direct result of the mandate.

Reporter Jack Posobiec tweeted out a flyer circulating among the anti-vaxx Southwest employees. Currently, they are planning a protest outside of Southwest headquarters next Monday. The protest will be called “Freedom Not Force.”

Southwest told Reuters it “would be expected to comply with the President’s Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.” In addition, American similarly said Abbott’s order does not change anything.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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