Pennsylvania’s State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine pulled her own mother out of a nursing home as long-term care facilities across the state saw deaths pile up under her guidance.
In a report published Wednesday, ABC27 confirmed that the health secretary’s mother “recently vacated a personal care home in the Midstate.”
As noted by ABC27, “Nearly 70% of Pennsylvania’s Covid-19 deaths, 2611 of 3806, have occurred in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.”
“My mother requested, and my sister and I as her children complied to move her to another location during the Covid-19 outbreak,” Levine confirmed. “My mother is 95 years old. She is very intelligent and more than competent to make her own decisions.”
“Many in Harrisburg wondered what kind of message it sends — when a close relative of the person tasked with overseeing those types of facilities doesn’t choose to stay in one,” the report noted. “Levine countered that she is working to protect the health of all Pennsylvanians.”
Back in March, Levine ordered nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania to continue to accept coronavirus-positive patients who had been discharged from hospitals and were unable to return to their homes, according to the Bucks County Courier Times.
“On March 29, as Pennsylvania, New York and other states began ordering nursing homes to admit medically stable residents infected with the coronavirus, national trade groups warned it could unnecessarily cost more lives,” the outlet reported. “The health directives put ‘frail and older adults who reside in nursing homes at risk’ and would ‘result in more people going to the hospital and more deaths,’ the American Health Care Association and affiliates said at the time.”
On Tuesday, the health secretary finally announced tighter guidance for the facilities
“By testing every resident and every staff member in every nursing home, we will be able to pinpoint exactly who has Covid-19, who has been exposed but has no symptoms, and cohort positive cases to prevent further spread,” Levine said, noting that PA officials “will also require nursing homes to report all cases and deaths which will be available publicly.”
As highlighted by The Daily Wire last month, the PA health department had to remove hundreds of coronavirus deaths from its official death count, following questions of accuracy and discrepancies highlighted by area coroners.
Levine, who decided to include “probable deaths” in the department’s total count, acknowledged to the Philadelphia Inquirer that such deaths may change over time.
“We realize that this category can be confusing, since it does change over time,” the health secretary told the outlet.
“At times, there are things we need to review, and potentially revisit the way the data is being analyzed,” Levine admitted. “And this is one of those times.”
Related: Pennsylvania Forced To Remove Hundreds Of Deaths From Coronavirus Death Count After Coroners Raise Red Flags
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