A state senator from Franklin County has called for the immediate resignation of Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, saying her actions were a major factor in the large number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state’s nursing homes.
Sen. Doug Mastriano, a first-term Republican representing Franklin, Adams and a part of York counties, said Levine has committed the equivalent of policy malpractice in her handling of the coronavirus pandemic, specifically in her handling of the virus’s spread through nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Mastriano specifically targeted Levine for a policy which called for nursing home and long-term care patients who had been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19 to be returned to their homes when they were ready for release from hospitals. Mastriano said that contributed to major outbreaks in numerous nursing homes around the state.
“Our secretary of health, Dr. Levine, decided that it would be good to allow COVID-positive patients to be returned to elder-care facitlies. And as a result of that, it broke out like fire,” Mastriano said during a rally with constituents at the base of the Capitol steps Monday.
“The very same people our secretary of health said were going to be vulnerable… It unleashed heck upon our dearly beloved fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I think that’s unconscionable, unacceptable, and that secretary needs to be held accountable for that awful decision,” Mastriano said.