Biden Hires Health Secretary Involved In COVID Nursing Home Death Scandal
Joe Biden has designated Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant Secretary of Health.
“Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond,” Biden said in a statement. “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”
Levine, has received strong criticism over her handling of the coronavirus last year.
In March of 2020, shortly before the statewide lock down, Levine, removed her 95 year old mother from the nursing home she was residing at and and placed her in a hotel.
Levine worked with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and imposed a similar policy as New York governor Andrew Cuomo. The result was devastating to seniors living in nursing homes, of the 19,390 coronavirus deaths, 14,948 of them were over the age of 60. Dr. Levine, reports that over 10,000 seniors died in nursing home as a result of the virus.
In Lancaster County, considered by some a retirement hot spot 94.32% of the 681 seniors that passed away as a result of the virus did so at a “skilled long term care facility” or the hospital.
In response over the controversy Levine said, “My mother requested, and my sister and I as her children complied, to move her to another location during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Dr. Levine said. “My mother is 95 years old, she is very intelligent, and more than competent to make her own decisions.”
Department of Health spokesperson, April Hutcheson later told the press, “Her mother weighed her options, and that was the decision she came to, this is one woman’s personal decision.”
Under Levine’s leadership the state has lagged behind the national average in testing and has been incredibly slow rolling out vaccinations for those that want it.
Compared to states like Texas and Florida Pennsylvania’s pandemic response has been a complete failure.
NBC 10 | Pittsburg Post Gazzette