Elderly Left Vulnerable by Wolf Administration COVID-19 Response

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

            Pennsylvania’s pro-abortion Democratic Governor is being taken to task for alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis.

            A group of Congressmen from Pennsylvania have sent a letter to the Commonwealth’s Attorney General, asking if he is investigating Gov. Tom Wolf for reportedly undercounting Coronavirus deaths in nursing homes. Similar allegations in New York have resulted in a major scandal for Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

            The PA letter is signed by pro-life Republican Congressmen John Joyce, Mike Kelly, Guy Reschenthaler, and Glenn Thompson.

            Governor Wolf—a former clinic escort for abortion giant Planned Parenthood—is well-known for his pro-abortion stance. Now, he’s under fire for the way he’s been dealing with those in the twilight of life who populate the Commonwealth’s nursing homes.

            Congressman Reschenthaler told PA news outlet KDKA, “I simply want to know if AG Shapiro is looking into whether Governor Wolf, like Governor Cuomo, is deflating the statistics and hiding the numbers in Pennsylvania.” 

            The Congressman added, “The fact that Governor Wolf has basically mimicked Governor Cuomo in the handling, I should say mishandling, of this pandemic makes me suspicious. And at the end of the day, we should all want transparency. Governor Wolf should be open.”

            Attorney General Josh Shapiro responded that his office investigates criminal matters, and questions about data collection should be sent to the state’s Inspector General.

            While the Governor indicated he would be open to that, his office also took the opportunity to blast the Republican Congressmen.

            “These baseless, endemic insinuations by the GOP that Pennsylvania may have misrepresented nursing home deaths betray a significant lack of understanding of our reporting going back to the beginning of the pandemic.”

            Still, significant questions about the PA Governor’s handling of the pandemic remain. Advocates for life wonder whether better decision-making by the Chief Executive could have resulted in fewer COVID-19-related deaths in the Commonwealth.

Un-masking the Wolf Administration

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

Vulnerable people, whatever their age, deserve protection.

But even prior to the pandemic, the Wolf Administration failed to protect our elderly by ignoring long-standing concerns in Pennsylvania nursing homes, according to a Spotlight PA expose.

“We are facing an elder care crisis. And we continue to ignore it at our own peril,” acknowledged the state Auditor General, a Democrat himself, in 2019.  

And then 2020 brought a novel virus. 

The overwhelming majority, almost 70% of COVID-19 deaths in Pennsylvania, have occurred in nursing homes, the fifth highest in the nation for deaths involving long term care residents, according to a July 30 New York Times article.

Could lives have been saved had the Wolf Administration acted upon findings from 2016?

Four years ago, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale reported several problems to the administration including:

-Low minimum staffing requirements, long criticized as “totally unsafe”

-poorly trained nursing home inspectors who were often too “cozy” with facilities

-and a low 2.7 hours of daily care per resident, substandard to the federal recommendation of 4.1 hours of daily care

While these unresolved concerns were highlighted again last year by the auditor general, to this day, the Department of Health has failed to issue the reforms they’ve long promised.

Incredibly, it was into this already stressed system of elder care that the state ordered “stable” COVID-19 hospital patients, putting other residents and the staff themselves at great risk.

And it was in the following month we saw the COVID-19 death toll peak in Pennsylvania, with the highest count at 186 deaths on April 26.

In between, the Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, removed the Secretary’s own mother from a long-term care facility.

Initially, an emergency response plan was developed for nursing homes. It was never fully implemented. Rather, a far more limited effort was activated in mid-April, but significant outbreaks had already taken hold.

In addition, the administration waived existing requirements, allowing nursing homes to operate even if they fell below state staffing levels.

At the same time, the safety net of in-person inspections has been suspended, replaced mostly with “virtual inspections.”

Family visits have also been halted, leaving little to no accountability for the facility, no advocacy for the residents, and an isolated population of elderly trapped.

Those in the twilight of their lives, highly dependent on others, certainly deserve better than this. And nursing home staff, dedicated to caring for them, deserve more support.

It’s difficult to understand why the Wolf Administration placed recovering patients into an already strapped system without an adequate plan to protect the parties involved.

It’s difficult to understand why for four years deficiencies were not addressed.

And it’s difficult to understand that while so much time, energy, and resources have been put into stopping the spread of COVID-19 among the general public, comparatively less effort has been spent protecting the elderly population experiencing the highest rates of death.

It seems the Wolf Administration has not just been wearing a mask, but blinders as well.

The lives of the elderly have an inherent value and dignity and the state has a duty to protect them from known harm.

To not do so amounts to passive euthanasia.

Nursing Home Crisis Fuels Effort to Impeach Governor Tom Wolf

Elderly holding hands


By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

A shocking number of deaths at Pennsylvania nursing homes has led to an effort to impeach Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.

“We must not and cannot ignore the more than 3,000 deaths in Pennsylvania’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities that are directly linked to Wolf’s and his secretary’s unconscionable orders to admit infected COVID-19 patients,” said state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler).

Metcalfe has introduced House Resolution 915, which calls for the impeachment of the Governor following the massive loss of life in Pennsylvania linked to the Coronavirus crisis.

The southwestern Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced five articles of impeachment, one of which specifically deals with the callous manner in which nursing home residents have been treated during the pandemic.

Article IV of the impeachment resolution states, “Governor Wolf failed in his duty to protect the citizens of this commonwealth who are most vulnerable to COVlD-19: residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

“Although Governor Wolf had ample notice that residents of nursing homes
and long-term care facilities were at severe risk of contracting
and dying from COVID-I9, Governor Wolf failed to direct the
Department of Health to develop and implement a comprehensive
plan to protect them. More than two-thirds of all COVID-I9-
related fatalities in this commonwealth have occurred in nursing
homes and long-term care faciities.”

In a news release, Metcalfe, who has attracted 24 co-sponsors for his resolution, added, ““Pennsylvania citizens deserve and demand far better than a petulant socialist dictator with a well-documented history of unconstitutional and unlawful misbehavior cowardly occupying the governor’s office. No individual or regime is above the law. The time for Wolf’s impeachment is now!”

Safety Concerns at Abortion Centers Rise During Pandemic



By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

Safety concerns at Pennsylvania abortion centers are rising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A check of the Department of Health website shows no abortion facility inspection reports have been posted since Coronavirus swept through Pennsylvania.

Indeed, the last report posted is dated February 12th and shows the Philadelphia Women’s Center failing its inspection. At the time, health officials discovered that the troubled abortion center had not obtained parental consent for some chemical abortions for minor girls.

The facility also had no evidence of a patient safety committee nor an infection control committee. The lack of infection control oversight is especially egregious, considering the Coronavirus crisis that subsequently hit the Keystone State.

Pennsylvania’s Governor had the opportunity to stop abortions during the virus outbreak. In fact, one of the Wolf Administration’s orders during the pandemic suspended elective surgeries statewide.

But Governor Tom Wolf, an outspoken backer of Planned Parenthood, refused to enforce the order on abortion facilities, claiming abortion to be an “essential service.” Despite the entreaties of legislators in both the Pennsylvania House and Senate, the Governor never backed off his radical stand.

The apparent lack of oversight of abortion facilities during the pandemic is worrisome. After all, Pennsylvania gained national notoriety after the discovery of the brutal crimes of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell is now serving a life sentence in prison after being convicted of the murders of three newborn babies. The West Philadelphia abortionist was also convicted of causing the death of a female immigrant patient, Karnamaya Mongar.

The health and safety of how many women have been comprised at PA abortion centers during the pandemic? We may never know for sure. But what is apparent is that the Wolf Administration is not serious about abortion center regulation–especially in these troubling times.