Blue states failed the most vulnerable among us

Last month, Ann Coulter wrote a piece that was laser focused on how to shape public policy in response to the coronavirus. And while her style was provocative (it was Ann, after all), her point was spot on. After noting data that showed the virus was particularly deadly for the very old, she ended the article with this:

We ought to surround old folks homes with the National Guard and call it a day. It would probably save more lives and wouldn’t destroy the economy.

We knew early on that the elderly were the most vulnerable. And yet we failed to protect them. So here we are at the end of April and the deadliest outbreaks of the virus have been in nursing homes and elder care facilities. (And most, if not all, have been in cities and states run by Democrats.)

But this need not have been so.

Front Page Magazine published an article by Daniel Greenfield that provides a chilling overview of how we failed to protect the most vulnerable.

First, here are stats for seven states that show the statewide percentage of deaths from the coronavirus attributed to nursing homes:

       New Jersey: 40%.

       Connecticut: 40%.

       Virginia: The majority of deaths have been in nursing homes, with 25% of the residents in one nursing home succumbing to the virus.

       Michigan: Every nursing home in Detroit is infected and one-third of the deaths in Wayne County have been in nursing homes.

       Illinois: 25% in Cook County.

       California: Nearly 30% in Los Angeles County and 72% in Long Beach.

       New York: 25%.

There have been several nursing homes where a significant percentage of the total population died due to the virus. At one nursing home, dead bodies were found in a shed after an anonymous tip was called into the NYPD.

Meanwhile, most if not all of the governors of the states listed above forced hospitalized patients with the virus (or whose status with respect to the virus was not confirmed) to be discharged to nursing homes, creating a perfect storm for the infection to rage out of control in these facilities. These same governors also refused to release information to the public, and when they finally did, it was partial and only done under pressure.

There is reason to be suspicious of this secrecy. As Greenfield writes:

…Even the partial data makes it all too clear that the severity of the death toll was not due to urban density, but poor oversight and response. If urban density were the issue, Manhattan would have some of the highest numbers. Instead it has among the lowest, while boroughs with sizable nursing homes have the highest numbers.  [snip]

Governor Cuomo's Department of Health had issued an order that, "no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19" and also prohibited requiring testing of returning patients. Sending hospitalized patients with coronavirus to the same mismanaged nursing homes was a death sentence for countless seniors in those facilities.

As Betsy McCaughey, the former Republican lieutenant governor, has said, "One Covid-positive patient in a nursing home produces carnage.”

And, once again, the CDC failed miserably:

Even though the first coronavirus outbreak in this country took place in a nursing home in Washington, and killed 43 people, the CDC failed to track the spread of the virus to nursing homes nationwide.

Instead, the CDC has been relying on "informal outreach" to track the spread and has not updated its numbers since March.

The CDC's estimate of 400 nursing homes is only about 10% of the national total.

The Trump administration took an important step by ordering nursing homes to report coronavirus deaths to the CDC, and to the residents and their families. This move puts an end to the state stonewalling that covered up coronavirus cases and their own malfeasance.

Greenfield provides the following commentary on this shameful situation:

…Securing nursing home facilities would cost a fraction of the money we have lost by shutting down the economy and passing massive bailouts. And as death tolls remain a major barrier to reopening the economy, saving lives in nursing homes will also save the economy. It’s the right thing to do for our parents, grandparents, and for our country.  [snip]

…blue state and local governments, where the pandemic death toll is concentrated, failed to do the most basic and decent thing because it wasn’t in their political interest and didn’t offer the same alure of power.  [snip]

Blue state governments lied, deliberately covering up the scale of nursing home deaths, while playing up the pandemic risks and the lockdown. Their decisions killed the weak and the elderly, devastated the economy, and transformed the entire relationship between the people and their governments.

The appeal of imposing social distancing measures on everyone proved irresistible to blue governments even while they neglected to track virus cases in the places where they were most likely to emerge.  [snip]

As the numbers trickle in from recalcitrant blue states, the truth is finally coming out. That truth should carry its own consequences for the bureaucrats who let so many die while chanting hollow slogans. It should also transform our coronavirus policy from the federal level to state and local governments

Hear! Hear!

One governor, however, has implemented a more thoughtful approach that reflects the common sense reality addressed by Coulter and Greenfield.

Florida Governor, Rick de Santis, focused on the most vulnerable and it seems he’s having good results.

De Santis brought in the National Guard to sanitize nursing homes, did wide scale testing in these facilities, and he made sure the appropriate masks were worn, among other measures. He defied predictions that Florida would fare worse than New York – and defied them by a mile while avoiding “draconian” measures.

So, looking back, it seems Ann Coulter was right. We should have focused on nursing homes and senior care facilities. Instead we took a sledgehammer to the entire nation rather than an expertly wielded scalpel. And in so doing, we created a wide scale, unthinkable disaster.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Last month, Ann Coulter wrote a piece that was laser focused on how to shape public policy in response to the coronavirus. And while her style was provocative (it was Ann, after all), her point was spot on. After noting data that showed the virus was particularly deadly for the very old, she ended the article with this:

We ought to surround old folks homes with the National Guard and call it a day. It would probably save more lives and wouldn’t destroy the economy.

We knew early on that the elderly were the most vulnerable. And yet we failed to protect them. So here we are at the end of April and the deadliest outbreaks of the virus have been in nursing homes and elder care facilities. (And most, if not all, have been in cities and states run by Democrats.)

But this need not have been so.

Front Page Magazine published an article by Daniel Greenfield that provides a chilling overview of how we failed to protect the most vulnerable.

First, here are stats for seven states that show the statewide percentage of deaths from the coronavirus attributed to nursing homes:

       New Jersey: 40%.

       Connecticut: 40%.

       Virginia: The majority of deaths have been in nursing homes, with 25% of the residents in one nursing home succumbing to the virus.

       Michigan: Every nursing home in Detroit is infected and one-third of the deaths in Wayne County have been in nursing homes.

       Illinois: 25% in Cook County.

       California: Nearly 30% in Los Angeles County and 72% in Long Beach.

       New York: 25%.

There have been several nursing homes where a significant percentage of the total population died due to the virus. At one nursing home, dead bodies were found in a shed after an anonymous tip was called into the NYPD.

Meanwhile, most if not all of the governors of the states listed above forced hospitalized patients with the virus (or whose status with respect to the virus was not confirmed) to be discharged to nursing homes, creating a perfect storm for the infection to rage out of control in these facilities. These same governors also refused to release information to the public, and when they finally did, it was partial and only done under pressure.

There is reason to be suspicious of this secrecy. As Greenfield writes:

…Even the partial data makes it all too clear that the severity of the death toll was not due to urban density, but poor oversight and response. If urban density were the issue, Manhattan would have some of the highest numbers. Instead it has among the lowest, while boroughs with sizable nursing homes have the highest numbers.  [snip]

Governor Cuomo's Department of Health had issued an order that, "no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19" and also prohibited requiring testing of returning patients. Sending hospitalized patients with coronavirus to the same mismanaged nursing homes was a death sentence for countless seniors in those facilities.

As Betsy McCaughey, the former Republican lieutenant governor, has said, "One Covid-positive patient in a nursing home produces carnage.”

And, once again, the CDC failed miserably:

Even though the first coronavirus outbreak in this country took place in a nursing home in Washington, and killed 43 people, the CDC failed to track the spread of the virus to nursing homes nationwide.

Instead, the CDC has been relying on "informal outreach" to track the spread and has not updated its numbers since March.

The CDC's estimate of 400 nursing homes is only about 10% of the national total.

The Trump administration took an important step by ordering nursing homes to report coronavirus deaths to the CDC, and to the residents and their families. This move puts an end to the state stonewalling that covered up coronavirus cases and their own malfeasance.

Greenfield provides the following commentary on this shameful situation:

…Securing nursing home facilities would cost a fraction of the money we have lost by shutting down the economy and passing massive bailouts. And as death tolls remain a major barrier to reopening the economy, saving lives in nursing homes will also save the economy. It’s the right thing to do for our parents, grandparents, and for our country.  [snip]

…blue state and local governments, where the pandemic death toll is concentrated, failed to do the most basic and decent thing because it wasn’t in their political interest and didn’t offer the same alure of power.  [snip]

Blue state governments lied, deliberately covering up the scale of nursing home deaths, while playing up the pandemic risks and the lockdown. Their decisions killed the weak and the elderly, devastated the economy, and transformed the entire relationship between the people and their governments.

The appeal of imposing social distancing measures on everyone proved irresistible to blue governments even while they neglected to track virus cases in the places where they were most likely to emerge.  [snip]

As the numbers trickle in from recalcitrant blue states, the truth is finally coming out. That truth should carry its own consequences for the bureaucrats who let so many die while chanting hollow slogans. It should also transform our coronavirus policy from the federal level to state and local governments

Hear! Hear!

One governor, however, has implemented a more thoughtful approach that reflects the common sense reality addressed by Coulter and Greenfield.

Florida Governor, Rick de Santis, focused on the most vulnerable and it seems he’s having good results.

De Santis brought in the National Guard to sanitize nursing homes, did wide scale testing in these facilities, and he made sure the appropriate masks were worn, among other measures. He defied predictions that Florida would fare worse than New York – and defied them by a mile while avoiding “draconian” measures.

So, looking back, it seems Ann Coulter was right. We should have focused on nursing homes and senior care facilities. Instead we took a sledgehammer to the entire nation rather than an expertly wielded scalpel. And in so doing, we created a wide scale, unthinkable disaster.

Photo credit: Pixabay