Democratic governors let COVID-19 ravage elderly

Coronavirus deaths have now exceeded 90,000 in the United States and death counters are not outraged at the huge number of elderly victims — they are rejoicing.

Nearly a third of those killed, roughly 28,000, were residents and staff members at nursing homes and long-term care facilities nationwide, according to a New York Times analysis.

Democratic governors across the country have turned nursing homes with elderly, vulnerable long-term care residents into hotspots through a combination of recklessness and indifference.

Three states, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with the highest number of deaths at nursing homes, account for more than forty percent of total coronavirus deaths nationwide.

The five states with the highest death tolls are New York with 28,232; New Jersey with 10,363; Massachusetts with 5,797; Michigan with 4,891; and Pennsylvania with 4,495.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey issued orders in late March requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients being discharged from hospitals.

According to the guidelines nursing homes could not refuse to take these patients solely because they have coronavirus. More than 10,000 people have died in these facilities.

The 5,500 patient deaths in New York’s nursing homes exceed the  total number of deaths in all other states except New Jersey.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom pressured nursing homes and assisted living facilities to take in coronavirus patients in order to free up hospital beds — even if they’re still infectious. They can only refuse to accept these patients if the facilities lack adequate protective gear for workers or other ways to prevent transmission.

At least 41% of California’s coronavirus deaths are from eldercare facilities, and cases are increasing rapidly. At least 9,463 patients and staff at the state’s 1,224 skilled nursing homes have tested positive for COVID-19 as of May 13, and at least 1,171 have died.

At least 1,803 residents and workers at California’s more than 7,460 assisted-living facilities have tested positive, and 257 have died.

The number of nursing home deaths jumped 51% in eight days from April 23-May 1 and deaths in assisted living facilities nearly doubled between April 20-May 3.

The New York Times estimated that in 14 states more than half of total deaths occurred in facilities for the elderly: 55 percent in Connecticut, 57 percent in Colorado, North Carolina and Kentucky, 58 percent in Virginia, 59 percent in Massachusetts, 61 percent in Delaware, 66 percent in Pennsylvania, 73 percent in Rhode Island and 80 percent in West Virginia and Minnesota.

In Pennsylvania long-term care facilities have become the epicenter of coronavirus-related deaths in the state. Pennsylvania nursing home death soared by 550 percent in one month, from 324 deaths in early April to 2,108 in early May.

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro opened criminal investigations into several nursing homes as deaths climbed to 2,600. Nursing home deaths account for more than two-thirds of the state’s death toll.

Shapiro said last Tuesday his office will hold “nursing facilities and caretakers criminally accountable if they fail to properly provide care to our loved ones.”

Nursing homes are more preoccupied with pressuring states to protect them from liability than fighting to protect the elderly.

“Despite whatever you do, because with all our progress as a society, we can’t keep everyone alive,” Cuomo said last Sunday.