Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine (a biological male born Richard Levine but identifying as transgender), President Joe Biden’s pick for assistant secretary of health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), refused to answer an important question about his record on forcing nursing homes to admit COVID-19-positive patients.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) laid out the scandal in his opening remarks at Levine’s confirmation hearing on Thursday.
“Along with testing challenges from last spring, your state failed to adequately protect nursing home residents from the virus and is making unacceptable mistakes in the vaccine distribution process,” Burr noted.
“Pennsylvania ranks as one of the most dangerous states for long-term care residents battling COVID-19. Fifty-two percent of Pennsylvania COVID-19 deaths came from nursing homes, and three in ten of the deadliest facilities in the country were in Pennsylvania. Your state came in 46th in the country in its effort to put safeguards in place that managed the spread of infections in these settings with only 16 percent of the state’s nursing homes receiving infection control inspections that could have saved residents from the spread of COVID-19,” Burr claimed.
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