It is right to look into decisions that impacted nursing homes, but …
Gov. Tom Wolf, along with governors of New York, New Jersey and Michigan, has been asked to supply COVID-19 data for public nursing homes to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The DOJ says the information will decide if it will initiate investigations under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act regarding state responses to the coronavirus in public nursing homes.
Specifically, the department’s Civil Rights Division will look into whether state orders requiring admission of COVID-19 patients to nursing homes is responsible for the deaths of nursing home residents. The four states each required nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients to their vulnerable populations, often without adequate testing. The death toll in nursing homes, particularly early on in the pandemic, has been well-documented.
“Protecting the rights of some of society’s most vulnerable members, including elderly nursing home residents, is one of our country’s most important obligations,” said Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division.
“We must ensure they are adequately cared for with dignity and respect and not unnecessarily put at risk.”
Take note: The four governors are Democrats. Bill Barr, who heads the DOJ, is Republican and a Trump appointee. We must acknowledge our entire society was caught off guard when COVID-19 hit our shores. We can do a lot of fingerpointing, but fingerpointing just makes for an ugly political mess.
Our energies would be better spent on maintaining the health in our nursing homes — and our communities — now that we know the deadly ramifications of this virus.
We also need compassion for those who have been pent up in nursing homes with limited contact with the outside world and find ways to help them.
Talk to someone with a loved one in a nursing home and you’ll realize how dire their situation has become.
They are missing the human touch of family.
It’s an unfortunate balancing act that has been beyond difficult, yet the limitations and a stepped-up response have curbed the deaths in nursing homes.
The department points out that the data requests are not accusations of fault or wrongdoing by the states or any individual or entity, and it has not reached any conclusions.
Why not, then, include governors from Republican states so this is not politicized?
Oh well, that’s where our nation is at: Politics rule and to hell with everything else.
That said, if justice officials do find evidence that any states — any states in America whether red or blue — took actions with reckless disregard for their impact, then the state administrations must be held accountable.