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Thursday, May 21, 2020

3 Out of 5 Deadliest Coronavirus Outbreaks Were in State Nursing Homes

The lockdown model sought to flatten the curve by preparing hospitals for a massive influx of patients by clearing out everyone including elderly patients, who were sent back to nursing homes. The hospitals, with a few limited exceptions, were not overwhelmed, but the nursing homes were.
1 in 3 coronavirus deaths, as of now, have involved nursing homes. These deaths were amplified by policies in blue states, especially New York and New Jersey, compelling facilities to take coronavirus patients, while concealing the number of deaths at facilities behind false claims of resident privacy.
Blue state administrations have tried to blame the thousands of deaths on mismanaged private nursing homes, and while some nursing homes are badly run, the worst death tolls were in state nursing homes.

The 5 deadliest outbreaks in nursing homes took place in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Three of those facilities, the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home, and Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park in New Jersey, are state run facilities.
New Jersey's Department of Military and Veterans Affairs runs 3 homes for veterans. 2 of them had major deadly outbreaks. As of now, the Paramus home had 72 deaths and the Menlo Park facility had 55 deaths. But the third, Vineland Veterans Memorial Home, had recorded only one death.
Paramus has 211 residents and 189 cases which means that nearly all of the residents are infected. The Menlo Park facility has 167 cases in a 190-resident facility with an equally bad infection rate. The latter facility had repeatedly come to the attention of federal inspectors who cited it for not following infection-control procedures and its health violations rate was four times the state average.
Its Medicare rating was ‘Below Average” and its health inspections rating was ‘Much Below Average’. The Paramus veterans home was also poorly rated. The Vineland home, by contrast, was highly rated.
State officials had apparently lied about staff not coming down with the virus, workers were told not to wear protective equipment, and the Paramus facility wasn’t following CDC disinfection guidelines. At Menlo Park, the family of a Vietnam veteran complained that he was wrongly placed with coronavirus patients leading to his death, and family members of other deceased residents reported facility failures.
Garden State nursing homes have been ground zero for some of the worst outbreaks in the country, but even among them, the homes run by New Jersey have been the worst. Had a Republican been in charge of the state, instead of a Wall Street donor to the Obama campaign, the media might have noticed that.
When Governor Murphy was asked who was currently running the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, he replied, “There’s an acting person who came in from under him. I don’t know that name.”
Murphy didn’t know because, his political appointee had resigned in the middle of the pandemic to run for Congress, infuriated that some members of the New Jersey delegation, one of whom had a brother-in-law at one of the facilities, had called for a federal investigation into the breakdown.
The former department boss claimed that he had resigned so as not "embarrass Gov. Murphy by running against a candidate [he] supports."
Despite the pretense that blue state politicos cared about veterans or nursing homes, Murphy had no clue who was in charge of veterans affairs or the facilities that had 2 of the 3 deadliest nursing home outbreaks in the state. And he made it quite clear that he really didn’t care.
In Massachusetts, the outbreak at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke with 74 deaths was by far the worst in the state where other facilities had an average of 10 deaths. Holyoke is one of only two state run facilities for veterans, the other being the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home where the death toll is up to 28.
In New Jersey, two out of three state homes for veterans had major outbreaks with massive death tolls, and in Massachusetts, it was one out of two. Statistics like these tell their own story about socialized medicine.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division are investigating the Holyoke facility, and Governor Baker has brought in Mark Pearlstein, a former DA, to conduct an independent investigation on behalf of Massachusetts.
The spectacle of dead veterans and investigations of facilities meant to serve them is not a new one. It is all too likely that what happened at state facilities is exactly what had been happening at the VA with an entrenched bureaucracy running the system for its own benefit, not for those whom it’s meant to serve. The investigations will turn up local mismanagement and recommend more funding. As they usually do.
The VA, which helps funds the state homes, has claimed that it conducted inspections and that the facilities met its standards even as, some like the Paramus facility, were receiving poor Medicare grades.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Governor Murphy's lackey, launched an investigation meant to focus on private nursing homes, a point he made clear when he threw around rhetoric about, "profits over patients." While there may be some truth to that, it's New Jersey's state-run homes which were some of the worst killing fields in the state. And any reckoning ought to begin with the state officials responsible.
The death tolls in nursing homes are already being used to push for more socialized medicine, but it was state medicine that was responsible for the deadliest outbreaks in nursing homes in America.
The VA scandals of the Obama administration, which may have claimed the lives of as many as 1,000 veterans, were swept under the rug, and Senator Bernie Sanders, who had tried to cover up the deaths as chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, rebounded with a push for socialized medicine.
After all this time, socialized medicine is still killing veterans.
The deaths of hundreds of veterans in state-run facilities in blue states will be covered up the same way, but they must not, cannot, and should not be forgotten. The deaths of thousands of nursing home residents are an outrage. And blue state governors in New York, New Jersey, and California, among others, should be held accountable for putting lockdown politics ahead of saving the lives of seniors.
Our nation owes a particular debt to the veterans who were left to die in Paramus, Menlo Park, and Holyoke. We should remember their names and honor the debt by telling the truth about their deaths.
Many of them defended our country by fighting socialist regimes in Korea and Vietnam. Their deaths should not be exploited to promote the big lie that socialized medicine is the answer.
Socialized medicine is not the answer unless the question is, “How do we kill more senior citizens?”

Daniel Greenfield is a conservative columnist and investigative reporter.  He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Thank you for reading.


  1. I am so very thankful my mother, a WW2 Navy Veteran and now 97, decided to enter a Private nursing home in southern New Hampshire.

  2. Anonymous21/5/20

    The high risk to seniors from Covid-19 was known
    very early. We soon found that under 60 in fair
    health had low risk. So we should have separated
    patients into senior infected, senior uninfected,
    all other. Seniors get high testing priority.
    All residents and families should have been warned
    of impending actions.

    The outbreaks were inexcusable and should be subject
    to criminal and civil penalty.


    1. That would have been the responsible way to do it, so of course we didn't

    2. Anonymous22/5/20

      Thank you, Daniel, for your kind comment. Just over
      100 years ago, in World War I, the strategy of Triage
      was devised to most efficiently save the most lives
      in mass threat situations: war, act of God, transport
      calamity, epidemic, etc. (French Trier, vt. separate,
      sort, shift or select) All doctors, emergency
      responders and planners, military have been trained
      and drilled in Triage. Massive studies, coordination,
      refinement have been done for a century. WHO has
      been a major participant.

      President Trump, under 3 years of unrelenting attack,
      was first to recognize and invoke Triage response.
      Even then, his saving actions were undercut, cynically
      wasting thousands of lives. Never-Trumpers,
      Democrats, Swamp Critters, Media Liars were fully
      and intentionally guilty for these ghastly deaths.


  3. I'm sorry, but Mr. Greenfield is confounding two unlinked variables. Capitalist heave - us in US - has health care costs TWICE the next leading country per capita, and we don't even cover 30% of our population. Meanwhile "socialist" so called medicine operates at much lower per capita costs in all modern countries, with far better outcomes: Lower mortality, lower returns to care for the same problem, universal access to care (and in most, though not all countries, FASTER access to health care despite the myths promoted by such droning!!)
    Modern right-wing nutcases (I'm not accusing Greenfield of being among them) love to cite the Constitution as providing them will unlimited rights, even though that is neither the real case, nor is their omission of accompanying responsibilities ever mentioned by them. In this case, I'd like to cite the Declaration of Independence: the right to LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life trumps the Constitution when it is unjustifiably threatened. And ironically, when health care is about helping people instead of maximizing profits, the motivation is far more effective for health care outcomes, and the results are far, far better for our population. And the pursuit of happiness? If getting rich is your only concept of happiness, you've got it wrong. Happiness, first and foremost, requires access to health care, rapidly (as in most developed countries faster than ours), better outcomes (hard to be happy when you are chronically sick or dead), and lower costs, which funds can then be sent by Congress to other parties for the special interests to plunder.
    Make America Great Again? How about making it great for the first time? We still haven't gotten rid of slavery and its impact. We still haven't corrected for robber barrens - indeed, we're doing worse than in our past history as the rich special interests control legislation and steal huge chunks of our tax money while being well sheltered from contributing to the national treasury.
    Sorry, but there are serious misconceptions in Mr. Greenfield's tirade.

    1. We don't have a capitalist health care system, we have a hybrid system with bunch of health care monopolies whose biggest client is the government which also regulates them.

      Everyone on gov health care gets substandard care. Everyone not on gov care subsidizes the whole thing.

      We have the worst of both worlds and the best of neither

  4. Tricia22/5/20

    Great article. So basically we shut down the world's largest economy because of a virus that's lethal to a small and known subset of the population who we could have taken steps at the very beginning too protect. Those governors are a disgrace and should be brought up on charges. You left out mine, Gavin Newsom who is paying nursing homes to accept Covid positive patients. Inexplicable but he's a blue state governor and so gets a media pass.

  5. Anonymous24/5/20

    Excellent commentary.
    It begs the question whether or not we learned anything from these mistakes. The Fall version is around the corner.



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