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New York State Attorney General Letitia James released a report on Thursday detailing the investigations her office has conducted into nursing homes policies and actions during the pandemic. The report shows that the nursing home deaths in New York State were likely undercounted by up to 50 percent.

The investigation, ongoing since March, when Governor Andrew Cuomo issued his directive to send COVID patients back to nursing homes following hospitalizations, was begun due to allegations of “patient neglect and other concerning conduct,” according to The Post-Journal.

Cuomo made headlines earlier this week for saying that “incompetent government kills people.”

The New York State Department of Health’s figures on deaths in nursing homes from COVID showed far less death than James’ latest findings. Cuomo and the Dept. of Health reported more than 8,500, and Cuomo has consistently and repeatedly denied that his policies had any negative impact on nursing home deaths in the state.

In July, the Dept. of Health tried to counter the claim that sending patients back to nursing homes while they were still contagious had occurred, saying the patients “were no longer contagious when admitted and therefore were not a source of infection.” James’ investigation reveals that this was untrue.

James’ investigation focuses on 20 nursing homes that are of particular concern. She stated: “As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate.”

“While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis,” James said, “this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents. Nursing homes residents and workers deserve to live and work in safe environments, and I will continue to work hard to safeguard this basic right during this precarious time.”

The report from the Office of the Attorney General comes in at 76 pages, and the death count was only one of the inconsistencies found between what the Dept. of Health reported and what the AG found.

A summary of the report read that “Preliminary data obtained by OAG suggests that many nursing home residents died from Covid-19 in hospitals after being transferred from their nursing homes, which is not reflected in DOH’s published total nursing home death data.” James found additionally that there were several nursing homes that “failed to comply with critical infection control policies.”

The basics of the AG’s report are: many more nursing home residents died from COVID than the official state numbers show; many homes didn’t follow the guidance to keep contagion at bay; the residents of homes that were not well-staffed suffered more; a lack of personal protective equipment among staff and residents was a factor in increased contagion; a lack of testing in these facilities meant the extent of the contagion was unknown for far too long.

Additionally, the report found that Cuomo’s policy from March that required COVID patients to be returned to nursing homes, or for COVID patients to be admitted to nursing homes, likely put residents directly in harm’s way.

The undercount of the deaths of nursing home residents is likely due to the fact that is a person was transferred from their care home to a hospital and then died in the hospital, that death was not counted as a nursing home death.

James’ office compared the deaths that were reported to the Dept. of Health by nursing homes and found that one nursing home had underreported by 29 the number of deaths from COVID that took place at their facility for one day in August alone.

Author: Tyler Durden

Source: Zero Hedge: Cuomo Admin “Under-Counted’ COVID-19 Nursing-Home Death By Up To 50%, NY AG Report Finds

The Biden Institute at the University of Delaware has refused to disclose all of its donors now that Joe Biden is President, according to Politico.

The Institute, established in 2017 with a goal of raising $20 million, promises to embody the spirit of “honesty, integrity, compassion and courage” that it claims Biden stands for – yet, as Politico notes, “the Biden Institute continues to engage in a multimillion-dollar fundraising campaign, which could attract donations from those interested in currying favor with the Biden administration.”

Meanwhile, Biden’s pick for Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, is facing calls to explain over $20 million in anonymous Chinese funding of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, established in 2018 and run by Blinken since its inception along with former Obama Administration aides.

The National Legal and Policy Center (NPLC) is demanding “that the University of Pennsylvania and its Penn Biden Center disclose the identity of $22 million in anonymous Chinese donations since 2017, including a single eye-popping donation of $14.5 million given on May 29, 2018, shortly after the opening of the Biden Center in Washington, DC. Altogether, China gave $67 million in two years to the University of Pennsylvania.”

Apparently nobody asked Blinken about this during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

At least 28 people with ties to Biden nonprofits and academic centers have either advised his transition or are joining the Biden administration.

Apparently nobody asked Blinken about this during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

At least 28 people with ties to Biden nonprofits and academic centers have either advised his transition or are joining the Biden administration.

Tony Blinken, Biden’s pick for secretary of State, worked as a managing director at the Penn Biden Center and was paid nearly $80,000 in the first six months of 2019, according to his personal financial disclosure.

Other Penn Biden Center alumni joining the administration include Steve Ricchetti, who will be a White House counselor to Biden; Brian McKeon, Biden’s choice for a top State Department post; Colin Kahl, Biden’s pick for under secretary of Defense for policy; Jeff Prescott, whom Biden will nominate as deputy ambassador to the United Nations; and Carlyn Reichel, Juan Gonzalez and Ariana Berengaut, all of whom will serve on the National Security Council staff.

Ted Kaufman, who’s running the transition, served as the Biden Foundation’s chair, and Louisa Terrell, who will be Biden’s White House legislative affairs director, drew a salary of more than $220,000 as its executive director, according to a tax filing. –Politico

We’re sure the MSM will get right on that Chinese money trail.

Author: Tyler Durden

Source: Zero Hedge: Biden Institute Refuses To Disclose Donors; Blinken Faces Questions Over $22 Million In Anonymous Chinese Contributions

With Joe Biden now sworn in as US President as of 12:01pm, China has slapped sanctions on a who’s who of top outgoing Trump administration officials.

Significantly, 28 Trump admin figures will be permanently barred from travel or doing business either on the Chinese mainland or Hong Kong.

“China announces decision to sanction 28 U.S. figures who it alleged to have severely violated China’s sovereignty, including officials in the Trump administration, according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry,” Bloomberg reports shortly after Biden took the oath of office Wednesday.

“Sanction forbids these people and their family members to enter China mainland, Hong Kong and Macau, and any entities associated with them won’t be able to do business with China,” the report added.

This will further include any companies associated with them; for example, companies which have a sanctioned individual on their board or in an executive capacity. Here’s state-run Global Times with the official rationale for the punitive measures:

Over the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China and showing no regard for the interests of the Chinese and American people, have planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-U.S. relations. The Chinese government is firmly resolved to defend China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests. China has decided to sanction 28 persons who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such U.S. moves on China-related issues.

And here’s a partial list of the top names:

They include Michael R. Pompeo, Peter K. Navarro, Robert C. O’Brien, David R. Stilwell, Matthew Pottinger, Alex M. Azar II, Keith J. Krach, and Kelly D. K. Craft of the Trump administration as well as John R. Bolton and Stephen K. Bannon. These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China.

Crucially the statement added: “They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China.”

The dramatic parting shot came after a series of colorful statements out of Chinese state sources:

“Good riddance, Donald Trump!” read a gleeful tweet from Chinese state news service Xinhua in the early morning hours on Wednesday, shortly before President Donald Trump left the White House for the last time. The post linked to a column that blasted the waning days of the Trump administration as a “preposterous show” and decried allied politicians of continued efforts to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions on Beijing.

Moments later, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in a press conference called outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “doomsday clown.”

Over prior months Trump and Pompeo had ramped up sanctions and travel restrictions on a slew of top Chinese officials, particularly over their alleged interference in Hong Kong’s affairs, particularly given the past summer’s harsh national security law giving police broad powers to crack down on pro-independence activists.

Author: Tyler Durden

Source: Zero Hedge: “Good Riddance”: China Sanctions 28 Trump Officials Including Pompeo, Bolton, Navarro & Bannon

Conservative commentator and former baseball star Curt Schilling says that AIG canceled his insurance policy over his “social media profile,” a new level of deplatforming not yet seen.

“We will be just fine, but wanted to let Americans know that @AIGinsurance canceled our insurance due to my “Social Media profile,” tweeted Schilling.

“The agent told us it was a decision made by and with their PR department in conjunction with management,” he added.

While innumerable Trump supporters have lost their Twitter and Facebook accounts due to social media censorship and cancel culture, cases of individuals being cut off by banks and other financial services are now growing too.

The purge has gone beyond the realm of simply silencing people on major platforms for their opinions, but punishing them for expressing them by trying to make their lives unlivable.

Numerous respondents pointed out the obvious – that without insurance it’s impossible to mortgage a home or register a vehicle.

However, other leftists applauded the move and said that Schilling deserved it for his support of Trump.

“You’ve definitely earned it,” remarked one.

“I mean…. capitalism right? They calculated the risk and decided your premiums weren’t worth the long term exposure?” added another.

What happened to Schilling is yet another chilling example of how Chinese Communist social credit score system is being implemented in America.

In August 2019, the Communist state bragged about how it had prevented 2.5 million “discredited entities” from purchasing plane tickets and 90,000 people from buying high speed train tickets in the month of July alone.

Author: Tyler Durden

Source: Zero Hedge: Conservative Commentator Says AIG Canceled His Insurance Over His Social Media Posts

As we first reported last night, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed in a letter addressed to Nancy Pelosi late on Tuesday that he will not invoke the 25th amendment to remove President Trump from office, just hours before the House was set to vote on a resolution formally calling on him to do so.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence said he does not “believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution”, and adding that he did “not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.” Instead, Pence, urged Pelosi and “every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment,” in reference to last week’s deadly Capitol riots.

Pence’s full letter is below:

Dear Madam Speaker:

Every American was shocked and saddened by the attack on our Nation’s Capitol last week, and I am grateful for the leadership that you and other congressional leaders provided in reconvening Congress to complete the people’s business on the very same day. It was a moment that demonstrated to the American people the unity that is still possible in Congress when it is needed most.

But now, with just eight days left in the President’s term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution. Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.

As you know full well, the 25th Amendment was designed to address Presidential incapacity or disability. Just a few months ago, when you introduced legislation to create a 25th Amendment Commission, you said, “[a] President’s fitness for office must be determined by science and facts.”

You said then that we must be “[v]ery respectful of not making a judgment on the basis of a comment or behavior that we don’t like, but based on a medical decision.” Madam Speaker, you were right.

Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation. Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent.

After the horrific events of this last week, our Administration’s energy is directed to ensuring an orderly transition. The Bible says that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven…a time to heal, … and a time to build up.” That time is now. In the midst of a global pandemic, economic hardship for millions of Americans, and the tragic events of January 6th, now is the time for us to come together, now is the time to heal.

I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment. Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. I pledge to you that I will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power. So help me God.

Sincerely

Michael R. Pence

Vice President of the United States

Pence’s expected announcement paves the way for House Democrats to move forward with impeachment legislation.

The House is currently weighing a resolution that would call on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows a majority of the Cabinet to remove the president from office. House Democrats have previously said they will move forward on Wednesday with a vote on impeaching President Trump if Pence declines.

Trump brushed aside calls for his removal over last week’s attack at the Capitol, saying the 25th Amendment is “of zero risk to me, but will come back to haunt Joe Biden.”

“Be careful what you wish for,” Trump said in Alamo, Texas, during a visit to the border earlier in the day. He said the impeachment effort mounted by House Democrats is “dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time.”

Democrats have moved quickly in their efforts to remove Trump from office – and prevent him from running again in 2024 – following the assault last week on the Capitol. An article of impeachment introduced in the House on Monday and backed by more than 200 Democrats accuses Trump of “incitement of insurrection,” and says he “gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government.” Three House Republicans, including House GOP leadership member Liz Cheney, said they will vote to impeach the president.

Earlier on Tuesday, the House Judiciary released a 76-page impeachment report which claimed that “President Trump remains a clear and present danger to the Constitution and our democracy.”

Author: Tyler Durden

Source: Zero Hedge: “I Will Not Yield To Political Games”: Pence Responds To Pelosi, Won’t Invoke 25th Amendment

Despite NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s efforts late last week to expedite COVID vaccinations by finally expanding eligibility requirements (after initially threatening to fine hospitals for supplying doses out of order), the sign-up process for people living in NYC remains “bewildering”, according to Comptroller Scott Stringer, a Democrat who is running to succeed Bill de Blasio as mayor when his second term ends later this year.

Stringer’s complaints follow reports of hospitals in the city being forced to throw away doses of the vaccine.

Dr. Neil Calman, president of the Institute for Family Health, complained to the NYT that the Family Health Center of Harlem had to throw away doses when patients didn’t show up to their appointments, since they couldn’t turn around and instead administer the doses to others.

And despite the fact that legal repercussions could further slow the process, state authorities have investigated healthcare providers that may have violated vaccination plans, including the city’s ParCare Community Health Network, which authorities say may have ignored the state’s vaccine prioritization guidelines.

In other news, Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his “State of the State” address on Monday, and during it, he appeared to finally hit upon something small business owners and restauranters around the city have been saying for months: if we don’t do something about this lockdown soon, there won’t be an “economy” left to reopen once COVID vaccinations have hit critical mass.

Some wondered what exactly had changed to make Cuomo see the light.

Cuomo’s words were markedly different from his commentary from last spring, when he insisted that no American in their right mind would push to reopen the economy at the expense of human lives.

“I understand what the president is saying that this is unsustainable that we close down the economy and we continue to spend money. There is no doubt about that,” Cuomo said at a news conference in New York City. “But if you ask the American people to choose between public health and the economy then it’s no contest. No American is going to say ‘accelerate the economy at the cost of human life,'” Cuomo argued.

On Sunday, the city opened mass vaccination sites in Brooklyn and the Bronx, where shots can be doled out on Monday to people 75 and over.

Circling back to Stringer’s comments, the Comptroller complained about the complexity of the sign-up websites, which required a multi-step process to set up an account, and another to make an appointment. To sign up, numerous questions must be answered and fields filled in. All of these steps might be preventing elderly eligible residents from signing up, since – as Stringer pointed out – there were more than 200 slots still available for Monday last night.

Stringer wasn’t the only one who complained.

ew York City finally reached its initial goal of vaccinating 100K people last week. But now Mayor Bill de Blasio is setting his sights even higher, telling reporters during a press briefing on Monday that he hopes to vaccinate 1MM New Yorkers – roughly 1 in 10 of the 9MM people who live in NYC – by the end of January.

For older residents who are having trouble navigating the site, de Blasio said a new hotline to allow for sign-ups over the phone would be launched immediately. New York currently has 160 sites and will be expanding sites and availability as soon as possible, de Blasio warned.

Author: Tyler Durden

Source: Zero Hedge: Cuomo Reverses: Demands “Reopen The Economy” Amid Dismal NYC Vaccine Rollout

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