Democrats Are Playing Politics with PPE Shortages and Nursing Home Deaths

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Posted by Clara Diaz on Wednesday, July 8th, 2020, 1:29 PM PERMALINK

In a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing last week, House Democrats blamed President Trump for personal protective equipment shortages and nursing home deaths.

In reality, the health crisis is a result of China misleading the world of the magnitude and danger of this highly contagious virus, as well as Democratic Governors’ failure to follow federal guidelines correctly.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) created the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to politicize our nation’s Coronavirus response and damage President Trump’s reelection efforts. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the Congressman who told lawmakers the pandemic was an “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision,” chairs the sham committee.

Luckily, Republican members have led the way in holding China accountable. In Thursday’s hearing, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) acknowledged and thanked the American people for the production of PPE (personal protective equipment) to compensate for China’s hoarding. He specifically called out Democrat members for their bill that was introduced this week that would demolish research efforts for lifesaving cures in the midst of a global pandemic.

This is not speculation – according to a Department of Homeland Security report, China deliberately hid the severity of the Coronavirus pandemic in order to have time to hoard PPE. Nevertheless, Democratic members attempted to shift blame from China to Trump and his handling of the national stockpile of PPE.

In fact, the Obama administration significantly depleted the federal stockpile of N95 respirator masks to deal with the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009 and never rebuilt the stockpile despite calls to do so. This forced the Trump Administration to take decisive action including activating the Defense Production Act. Fortunately, private companies have instead stepped up to the plate to ensure we have access to much-needed PPE.

As a result, supplies of PPE have met demand caused by COVID. Representatives from over 30 states claimed they haven’t had or are not aware of any COVID-19 patients in their state needing a ventilator and not getting one. In fact, many states are reporting excess supplies of the breathing machines.

Democrat members are also diverting attention away from the decisions made by Blue state governors of like Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) who flouted Trump’s guidelines regarding forcing COVID-19 patients into nursing homes.

Nursing home residents comprise 0.6 percent of the American population, but account for 42 percent of nationwide COVID-19 deaths. This is a tragedy that could have been avoided if Democrats followed Trump Administration guidance for handling the pandemic. 

As early as February, guidance from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) noted that elderly populations in Europe were especially vulnerable to the Coronavirus. On March 13, CMS Administrator Seema Verma explicitly stated:

“[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.”   

Instead of abiding by these guidelines, Cuomo's executive order in late March directed the admittance of coronavirus patients from hospitals to nursing facilities, a death sentence for thousands of his elderly constituents.

The statistics coming out of New York tell a clear story of neglect. Since Cuomo’s order, more than 6,000 New York nursing home residents have died as a result of the Coronavirus, about 6 percent of the more than 100,000 nursing residents in the state. After Cuomo’s abject failure became apparent, he backtracked and reversed the order.

The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus hearing last week was the latest attempt by Democrats to play politics with our nation’s response to COVID-19, by placing the blame on the President. In reality, the Trump Administration has marshaled a robust response to the Coronavirus pandemic, despite the PPE shortages China caused and the rapidly changing information surrounding the pandemic.

   

Photo Credit: scchamber

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