Mayor Cuomo and the Nursing Home Execs who Get Immunity – Campaign Contributions and Covid-19

Andrew Cuomo gave immunity to nursing home execs after big campaign donations



As Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a spirited challenge in his bid to win New York’s 2018 Democratic primary, his political apparatus got a last-minute boost: a powerful healthcare industry group suddenly poured more than $1m into a Democratic committee backing his campaign.

Less than two years after that flood of cash from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), Cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The provision, inserted into an annual budget bill by Cuomo’s aides, created one of the nation’s most explicit immunity protections for healthcare industry officials, according to legal experts.


GNYHA – a lobbying group for hospital systems, including some that own nursing homes – said it “drafted and aggressively advocated for” the immunity provision. The new law declares that top officials at hospital and nursing home companies “shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, for any harm or damages alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission in the course of arranging for or providing healthcare services” to address the Covid-19 outbreak.

Prior to the budget language, Cuomo had already temporarily granted limited legal immunity to doctors and nurses serving on the medical frontlines. But the carefully sculpted passage buried in the state’s annual spending bill expanded that by offering extensive immunity to any “healthcare facility administrator, executive, supervisor, board member, trustee or other person responsible for directing, supervising or managing a healthcare facility and its personnel or other individual in a comparable role”.

New York is now one of just two states to shield those corporate officials from both civil lawsuits and some forms of criminal prosecution by the government, according to an analysis by Syracuse University law professor Nina Kohn and the University of Houston’s Jessica L Roberts.

“New York is an outlier and has the most explicit and sweeping immunity language,” Kohn said.

Cuomo’s administration said the new immunity provision – which is a narrow version of a broader proposal championed by the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell – is necessary.

Nursing Home Warning Sounded in 2016, In 2020 the Body Count is Getting Attention – “The Family Biz” – Covid-19

Scott Morrow visits his mother, Claudette Stasik, at the Bria of Geneva nursing home in the western suburbs of Chicago. Since mid-April, 75 of the nursing home’s 91 residents and 37 of its 120 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus. (Anjali Pinto for ProPublica)


This story could be told in two separate parallel lines – one is the side of money, profit and a system of ownership devoid of morality. It is the tale of a family empire that owns nursing homes in numerous states, collects government funds for much of the care they allegedly provide, earns private money or insurance/long-term care funding for each body (live or dead) in its care. But, that would not necessarily be the right story to tell here as this family is not alone.

This story is not the exception within the business of nursing home ownership. Sadly, just another tale…. We send our condolences to the families. We plead with governmental entities, attorneys general and those in political power to pay attention. The Shofar is sounding but no redemption to be had. Generally speaking, few nursing home magnates can escape the lure of incorruptibility. 

The other story is the telling of a failing governmental system of Nursing Home oversight. If an ownership conglomerate has a few poorly run nursing homes in one or two states, they will likely be consistently horrendous places in every state in which that conglomerate has an interest. This is with the exceedingly rare exception, though to be clear there are exceptions.

Generally speaking though, why favor reduced bottom lines and humanity when it is not as financially lucrative, particularly if the government is not paying attention; and if the beds are getting filled? We are not here to do good deeds, are we?  

For our comments, we will leave the family ties to anyone who wants to look, no judgement, no opinions… well….  

To the oversight, we need to say very little. People are dying. Bodies are piling up. It was to be expected, whether by Covid-19 or something simpler. It was not implausible.  

In 2016 the Chicago Tribune laid out the problem with the Esformes nursing homes. Like yesterday’s story about the Nursing Home in Riverdale, NY, the Esformes family empire’s failings got largely ignored.

Those of us who have been sounding alarms since 2016 could provide anyone listening with the names of the most dangerous and reckless nursing home conglomerates in the United States. We could tell you who owns what, the number of violations of these homes, horror stories told by the nurses and healthcare workers, the way in which the slate gets swept clean, all of it. It is savage.

We, who have been looking for the last 4 or 5 years are a collective treasure trove of information. All someone needs to do is ask or pay attention. 

Read on.

From 2016 story in Chicago Tribune:

“Ex-employees allege nursing home tried to mislead inspectors on abuse”


Records show that some of those federal health-care dollars went to Weinfeld’s uncle, nursing home magnate Morris Esformes, whose son and close business partner, Philip Esformes, is being held without bond in a Miami federal detention cell on charges that he orchestrated a $1 billion Medicaid kickback scheme in Florida.

Morris and Philip Esformes in 2012 sold the Burnham home and three other Chicago-area facilities to companies run by Weinfeld and Weinfeld’s brother-in-law, Daniel Weiss, but those homes continued to pay consulting and real estate fees to companies managed by Morris Esformes, state records show.


A Quarter of the Residents at This Nursing Home Died From COVID-19. Families Want Answers.

Within three weeks, the Bria of Geneva nursing home went from one case of COVID-19 to two dozen residents dead and at least 75 infected. Delayed testing and gaps in nursing home data obscures the true toll of the crisis.


While other Illinois nursing homes may have seen larger overall numbers of cases and deaths, almost none have experienced an outbreak on the scale of the one here, with more than two-thirds of the residents infected with the virus and one-fourth killed by it. The situation at Bria of Geneva illustrates the price of insufficient and delayed testing and how a lag in public reporting of cases and deaths in nursing homes obscured the breadth of a crisis that has disproportionately hit the state’s vulnerable elderly population.

The first resident at Bria of Geneva tested positive April 17. At the time, Illinois public health officials had instructed nursing homes that they did not need to test everyone when there were positive cases. That guidance changed soon after, when state officials acknowledged that more testing was needed in nursing homes to identify asymptomatic residents and staff members and prevent large outbreaks. Still, it took another week for Bria to obtain enough supplies to do widespread testing.

State public health officials first released coronavirus case data on nursing homes April 19. It showed no cases at Bria of Geneva, even though the outbreak was underway. In some of the Public Health Department’s weekly updates since, the number of deaths has been undercounted or becomes outdated almost as soon as it’s released, according to a comparison of state data with a tally from the Kane County coroner’s office.

note Efriam Weinfeld:

Efriam Weinfeld – Business Profile | Bria Health Services L.L.C |

The Nursing Home Fatality Report – Covid-19



To every child, brother sister, mother father, aunt, uncle, daughter, son who lost someone at one of these homes, our condolences go out to you. We know quite well the pain  you feel and the anguish. It is for this very reason that we would like to see something change in the nursing care and rehabilitation industry, dramatic changes, that put life before bottom lines and profit.

We commend the nursing facilities and homes with very few deaths. The numbers on the chart and the photo shots below speak for themselves.

To the ones with the highest fatality rates, we have a few comments, just some thoughts and opinions.

We would be willing to bet, with very few exceptions, that the Nursing facilities with the highest Covid-19 deaths or deaths not confirmed but attributed to Covid-19 share some or all of the following characteristics: 1) Ownership, 2) Management, 3) Historical Implications (previous history of neglect), 4) Number of High Level Political Donations and 5) Profitability.

What is certainly true as of the date of this printing, Governor Cuomo has given nursing homes a pass, also with very few exceptions, for the deaths from Covid-19.

Common sense would have dictated moving healthy non-infected residents to a single location or a location by coordinating between nursing facilities in close proximity. It would have been an effort to keep people alive.

Continue reading

Hebrew Home in Riverdale, What was Known in 2016 and Ignored, What we Know Now in 2020 – Covid-19

The Deaths at the Hebrew Home and Nursing Homes Like It Were and Have Been Preventable. But, Money, Political Clout, and Other Factors Have Allowed Problems to go Ignored. 

The story of neglect, poor oversight, non-responsive administrators and multiple lawsuits at the Hebrew Home in Riverdale was originally written in 2016 in a Three-Part investigation by Frank G. Runyeon. The story received only minimal attention and was largely ignored at that time, despite many years of shameful status quo in New York State Nursing Homes in general,  and Hebrew Home related specifically. All information was and has been publicly available.

With respect to the Hebrew Home, four years later, 2020, will be ascribed to Coronavirus emergencies coupled with of the abject failures of the New York State governing authorities, the Department of Health the other entities responsible for keeping our elderly safe.

Many of the New York State’s nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities are highly profitable churning mills for filling beds and neglecting elderly. And because of a complete lack of oversight and accountability, there is blame to go around but Governor Cuomo has reduced the need to think twice. Money in, bodies out, little concern.  

In New York, the legislators, the institutions and the Attorney General can all shoulder some of the blame for allowing Governor Cuomo to cater to his big-money donors and their long-term care/rehabilitation facility campaign donations, enabling understaffing and subpar oversight and enforcement.

You all have blood on your hands. Is it not about time to do something?

Staffers say NYC nursing home is covering up coronavirus deaths

More than 110 people have died at the Hebrew Home in Riverdale in just two months — many with suspected COVID-19 symptoms but not appearing in official state tallies — and whistleblowers at the facility claim it’s a cover-up.

While the nursing home said 25 residents died at the home, or in hospitals, from confirmed and suspected COVID-19 in March and April, two insiders told The Post that 119 residents have died in the home alone in those two months.

The state Department of Health, meanwhile, lists only 18 deaths at the home as of May 8. The state does not include nursing-home residents who die in hospitals in its official count.

The staff was also ravaged — with at least 71 workers confirmed to have the virus, documents reviewed by The Post show.

There were 11 resident deaths on two days alone in April, according to internal records seen by The Post which did not list the cause of death. That two-day total was higher than the nine residents who died in all of January, two insiders said.

Continue reading

Private Equity and Hospitals, ER’s and Nursing Homes – A Disaster in the Making and Covid-19

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash.
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash.Google Maps

Private equity firms now control many hospitals, ERs and nursing homes. Is it good for health care?

In March, as the coronavirus gripped the nation, veteran emergency room doctor Ming Lin was growing concerned. Lin felt his facility, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington, was unprepared for the pandemic, so he went to his superiors for help.

Frustrated by their response, Lin took to social media, criticizing the hospital’s operations in a series of posts.

Days later, the hospital removed Lin from the rotation in the emergency department. He had worked at PeaceHealth for 17 years.

Under typical medical industry practice, Lin’s case would have been subject to peer review, experts said. But Lin’s employer wasn’t PeaceHealth. It was TeamHealth, a physician practice and staffing company that provides the hospital with emergency room services. TeamHealth is owned by Blackstone Group, a finance giant.

When a private staffing firm teams up with a hospital, the right to due process can disappear. Lin’s case was never heard.

“One of the objectives is to point out any deficiencies in the system that may harm the patient,” Lin told NBC News. “Because private equity has taken over health care, it has made that difficult.”


Continue reading

We All Know that Nursing Homes are Killing our Elderly and Yet… Pa. Official and her Mom… Covid-19

Pennsylvania health official moved mother from nursing home as deaths skyrocketed

The health official responsible for overseeing nursing homes in Pennsylvania — where nearly 70 percent of the state’s coronavirus-related deaths have occurred — moved her elderly mother out of one of the facilities as deaths skyrocketed, a report said.

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said Tuesday that her 95-year-old mother requested to be moved out of a personal care home, a local ABC affiliate reported.

“My mother requested, and my sister and I as her children complied to move her to another location during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Levine said, according to ABC27.

“My mother is 95 years old. She is very intelligent and more than competent to make her own decisions,” she added.

After criticism from some state lawmakers for the move, Levine argued she’s working to ensure the health and safety of all state residents, according to the report.

To continue reading, click here.


Nursing Care in NY – Lax Oversight, Fraud, Depleted PPE – the Body Count by the Numbers and Some Thoughts


The following link is from the State Website:

Forgive us if we do not trust that these numbers will remain “undoctored” tomorrow, so we have attached the PDF in photograph format. Please take a look. We maintain that it is not accurate. A few of those homes have a greater than reported body-count. 

We maintain that some of the homes on the list may have simply had a perfect storm of lousy circumstances. They may, indeed, be owned by some really and truly decent and caring people who find themselves in untenable circumstances. Covid-19 is not nursing home user-friendly. It is messy. It is expensive. It requires the owner to have a conscience. Some do. Some do not.

The vast majority of the worst hit homes have historically been plagued by health violations, abuse, lacking medical care, charging for services not performed, financial improprieties which include not only Medicare and Medicaid fraud but Worker’s Compensation fraud and human trafficking scandals. Some of it we have researched and some we have not. We are working on it.

We have been told by hospital social workers that the social workers and other hospital officials are often paid under-the-table to place certain nursing homes on the top of their lists of recommendations for patients. Since the government application for licensing requires that nursing homes prove that they can keep their beds full, it should come as no surprise that payoffs to the keep the beds full are commonplace, a cost of doing business. Personal experience supports that premise.

Continue reading

Giving Tuesday – 10K Needed to Pay for Printing of Appeal

To Our Loyal Readership:

We have at least 3 articles in the Queue. It has taken everything to avoid the distraction of the day, a bill for just under $10K for printing the Appeal papers alone. How is justice served when rulings cannot be appealed absent a printed copy that is a fortune for print alone? It took 3 shorts to get ours printed so we would not violate the Judge’s Order to seal most of the documents.

It is “Giving Tuesday”. We are thus asking our faithful readers to please give. As little or as much as you would like. We have covered your stories, our stories, a world of stories. We have presented opinions and facts and facts and opinions. We have urged our readers to think. And, we have been pleasantly surprised by some of the emails we receive, even from the most likely sources.

Please give what you can. Speech is a commodity, to be exchanged for one’s ability to defend it. We need your help in that defense.

Our GoFundMe can be found here.

Our PayPal can be found here.

A check can be sent to Henry, our attorney, by mailing as follows:

Henry R. Kaufman, P.C.
60 East 42nd Street
47th Floor
New York, NY 10165
Phone: (212) 880-0842
Fax: (212) 682-1965

The Puppeteers, a Flyover, a Series of Crowded Funerals, Mayor de Blasio and Covid-19 – [Part IV]

Hundreds of mourners gather in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, to observe a funeral for Rabbi Chaim Mertz, a Hasidic Orthodox leader whose death was reportedly tied to the coronavirus. The stress of the coronavirus' toll on New York City's Orthodox Jews was brought to the fore on Wednesday after Mayor Bill de Blasio chastised "the Jewish community" following the breakup of the large funeral that flouted public health orders.
Hundreds of mourners gather in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, to observe a funeral for Rabbi Chaim Mertz, a Hasidic Orthodox leader whose death was reportedly tied to the coronavirus. The stress of the coronavirus’ toll on New York City’s Orthodox Jews was brought to the fore on Wednesday after Mayor Bill de Blasio chastised “the Jewish community” following the breakup of the large funeral that flouted public health orders.(Peter Gerber/AP)

Several Funerals Later, Letters of Support and an Analysis of New York’s Power Holders

OPINION – LostMessiah 5.1.20 [updated 5:31pm][update 8:38pm previous version referred to Shesh Besh as Chess when Chess is actually “Shach” in Hebrew].

Over the last few days we have written three separate opinions about the “Massive” funeral that took place on the streets of Williamsburg, on April 28, 2020, the irresponsibility of the event, the flagrant defiance of social distancing and, well… the potential that the whole event was pre-approved by the Mayor’s office. Like the counting of the Omer, we suspect that in about 12 days there will be a significant increase of Covid-19 illnesses in New York. They likely will go unreported lest the truth be told that the attending members of the community have, indeed, helped transfer the virus from person to person.

Since that time there has been a smaller funeral in Monsey (not yet in the news but we have video of that funeral), albeit better about the social distancing, and another much larger funeral in Borough Park, social distancing be damned. An article in The Yeshivah World from April 30, 2020, tells that story, videos and all: AGAIN: Levaya In Boro Park Turns Chaotic With NYPD Response [VIDEOS]

There is no excuse for this absolute defiance of religiously observant people. The larger New York and worldwide demographic have the right to be angry. There is blame to be shouldered; and a community that allows, if not encourages, large ritualistic events should receive its fair share of the condemnation, whatever the religion.

We find ourselves wondering at what point the community that continues to defy the entire notion of social distancing will decide that far too many are dying and even more are being put at risk for each widely attended funeral, wedding, bris, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and the list goes on. The irony of putting people in danger at a funeral for someone who died of the very disease we are trying to stop is not lost on us and should not be so easily dismissed by religious fervency. We view this as a bastardization of a beautiful religion, ignoring the spirit in favor of the letter, something that should be disavowed by all. Continue reading

A Denial, A Flyover, a Crowded Funeral, Mayor de Blasio and Covid-19 – Who’s Really Running New York? [Part III]

Tipster blau108425The Three Accounts of the 2500 Guest Funeral in Williamsburg and The Power-Holders in New York 

OPINION – LostMessiah 4.30.20

[updated 5.1.20 5:32 pm, an earlier version claimed the Williamsburg funeral took place on April 27, 2020]

There are conflicting stories about the massive funeral that was held in Williamsburg April 28, 2020, in the middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic. In one version of events, unbeknownst to the Mayor’s office a Haredi group held a massive funeral, failed to social distance, attended by thousands and utterly lawless. Upon hearing of it,  Mayor de Blasio lost his mind with anger and came to the rescue. He scattered the people, broke up the funeral and then, in a scathing set of Twitter posts, admonished the group that held the funeral, while also, albeit inadvertently, painting all Jews as the villains. We were able to accept that last point because, well… the whole soiree was a major mess that put thousands of people at risk of catching Covid-19.

The second version of events is a bit different. In this portrait of NY, Mayor de Blasio had pre-approved the funeral. He had even sent New York Police Department members to the site to hand out masks, keep order and prevent the event from moving out of designated areas. How is that possible, you ask? We will get this that. In this version, almost more believable (and infuriating) than the first, Mayor de Blasio is complicit in putting people at risk and exposing thousands of New Yorkers to Covid-19. In this scenario, de Blasio, realized that this funeral was no small affair (as he was allegedly promised), but comprised of thousands of Haredim (who were not only locals but who had been bused in). The mourners were not social-distancing, but rather were standing largely unmasked and shoulder-to-shoulder to mourn this Blessed Rabbi. So, Mayor de Blasio angrily raced to the scene of lawlessness and assisted in dispersing the people, whom he had approved to be there.

In contrast to our unlikely hero in the first version of events, in the second one, de Blasio’s angry Tweets are not that of a frustrated mayor responding to a lawless community, but rather a willing accomplice who made a choice to scapegoat anyone and everyone to save his own skin. In Prisoner’s Dilemma terms, this second scenario characterizes Mayor de Blasio as the prisoner who turns against the other two, a woefully inadequate response when thousands of New Yorkers’ lives are now in newly constructed Covid-19 jeopardy.

Continue reading

A Cluster F@#K, A Flyover, a Massive Crowded Funeral in Williamsburg, Mayor de Blasio and Covid-19 (Part II)

The funeral at Bedford Avenue and Rutledge Street on Tuesday night
The funeral at Bedford Avenue and Rutledge Street on Tuesday night PROVIDED TO GOTHAMIST

Did Mayor de Blasio First Coordinate and then Castigate a Funeral Procession (his Police Department Helped Organize)? If so, What Does that Say About the State of Affairs in New York

This is a follow-up to our last piece entitled:

A Flyover, a Massive Crowded Funeral in Williamsburg, Mayor de Blasio and Covid-19

The following is a commentary based upon new information that we have obtained through the day.

We were hopeful that finally Mayor Bill de Blasio had put his foot down to the violations of social mandates by a small but not insignificant community. The NYPD has repeatedly had to break up funeral gatherings and other social soirees in religious communities in New York. Each such event runs the risk of infecting thousands of New Yorkers (and New Jerseyites) with Covid-19; but, to the extent de Blasio could look the other way, de Blasio has done just that. Time and time again, he has avoided controversy while still juggling political expediency.

But, to help organize a massive funeral in a pandemic? Really?

De Blasio’s various campaigns have been well funded by members of the religious community (and their attorneys and media consultants), and not just the Jewish community. His public records of campaign finances are a veritable whose who of influential people and activists and those that represent him. Members of the funeral-hosting Haredi community have gotten special treatment when it comes to real estate deals. Nursing homes are largely unregulated, whether that has anything to do with de Blasio and his office or not is anyone’s guess in bedlam, oops, Gotham. And the Shomrim are largely funded by NYS taxpayer dollars in one form or another.

How many communities get their own assisted police and ambulance forces, sometimes better equipped than those that are by New York’s public system? We don’t know nor do we judge. We stand by our position, however, that the Shomrim’s days should be numbered in favor of a more unified police force in New York. But these are the ways of politics and de Blasio has the financial remains of a Presidential bid to account for, or not.

So, yesterday’s utter castigation of the attendees to a massive funeral procession felt oddly like de Blasio was finally standing up for all Jews and all residents of the City of New York (and New Jersey). There are too few degrees of separation in a City so packed with people. In a Borough that has nearly the largest number of sick to healthy people on the various Covid-Scales, to have a safe giant funeral is impossible. Mayor de Blasio’s march to the scene of the funeral to help disperse the crowd felt somewhat heroic (albeit admittedly naive).

The mere mortals of this world, Jewish or otherwise, have had to bury our dead largely alone or with the help of online media portals. A Rabbi’s funeral, despite broad accounts of its importance in Jewish observance, still cannot undo the mandates of Pikuach Nefesh as it applies to the lack of safety in numbers with Covid-19 so easily transmitted. But we suppose a belief in Pikuach Nefesh presupposes a belief in the underlying science. 

We accepted if not celebrated de Blasio’s response to the massive funeral procession as a measured response to frustration with a community that has violated the social distancing laws to the detriment of all New Yorkers. We thought that finally the camel’s back had broken. The religious community, small as it may be or not, that has thumbed its nose to social distancing (and the science behind it) has raised the ire of Jews and non Jews everywhere. So finally, de Blasio did it! He yelled! He Tweeted! He stood up and said, “Enough.” And in so doing he was unsurprisingly called an anti-Semite.

Of course, waiving that flag in the Covid-19 environment is a measured response (sarcasm intended).

But then the bubble burst. “Drach!” Gone. Mayor de Blasio’s office, we are told, helped to organize the very funeral procession he then needed to disperse and openly excoriate. What was that? He was not looking out for regular New Yorkers? Apparently not. He was doing damage control; and if that meant pinning blame on a large swath of New York, all Jews, then let the rip cord fly.

And, that is a disappointment. 

If Mayor de Blasio used a broad stroke to include all Jews in his criticism of the Haredi community that violated social distancing, out of frustration for an event  the Haredim held that places all New Yorkers at risk, so-be-it. If they did not like the heat, they should not have piled 2500 deep into the Williamsburg kitchen.

But if Mayor de Blasio first approved that gathering and then used the Jews as a scapegoat to put out what otherwise might have been a media firestorm, he is no better than the worst of the politicians there are out there. And if that last point is true, we in our previous criticism owe our apologies to the organizers of the event.

If Mayor de Blasio’s office approved the funeral, helped to keep it organized, and then misread the magnitude, the community that hosted the funeral with approvals cannot be held to account for the fallout.

That responsibility rests squarely on de Blasio’s shoulders.

If that latter point is true and if people get sick in two weeks from yesterday, any blood will, if he approved the event, be on de Blasio’s shoulders, not the shoulders of the organizers of the event.

Crowded Hasidic Funeral In Williamsburg Was Coordinated And Approved By NYPD

Mayor Bill de Blasio personally helped disperse a crowded Hasidic funeral in Williamsburg on Tuesday night, sending thousands of mourners scattering on Bedford Avenue before issuing a stern warning on Twitter to “the Jewish community, and all communities.”

“Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite [sic]: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic,” de Blasio wrote. “What I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus.”

Twelve summonses were issued to those violating social distancing restrictions, according to Police Commissioner Dermott Shea. There were no arrests. “We cannot have what we had last night,” Shea told reporters on Wednesday. “We will not tolerate it.”

But according to Hasidic community leaders, the police department actually approved and helped coordinate the procession, which was held for local rabbi Chaim Mertz. Hours before the intervention, the NYPD’s Community Affairs Unit erected barricades in the area and worked with Shomrim, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood patrol group, to ensure the funeral could take place.

“We had an understanding with the police department that the Shomrim patrol would have 50 members and make sure everyone is wearing masks,” Rabbi Abe Friedman, a Williamsburg community leader, told Gothamist. “We can’t cancel a funeral of a very prominent rabbi, it’s not realistic.”

“It was supposed to be a very organized, safe, very short final goodbye,” he added. “Unfortunately, some people overacted and saw tons of people on the street and started dispersing the crowd and that caused a very big issue.”

Since the pandemic began, the NYPD has repeatedly broken up well-attended funeral gatherings in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, which have seen some of the highest rates of COVID-19 deaths. A police spokesperson would not say why the funeral was allowed to take place, or how the department decides to enforce social distancing laws.

To continue reading in the Gothamist, click here.



Jewish funeral in Williamsburg on 4/28/20.Photos: Peter Gerber
A crowd of people in Williamsburg at the funeral of a rabbi.

NYPD commissioner: Gatherings like Brooklyn funeral put cops’ ‘lives at risk’

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday that large gatherings like an Orthodox funeral held in Brooklyn Tuesday night were endangering his police officers — as the mayor claimed he has a “long, deep relationship with the Orthodox Jewish community.”

Shea, who said a paltry 12 summonses were issued, also pushed back against criticism that other groups were holding similar gatherings.

“There was two funerals last weekend for members of the NYPD, we would normally have probably tens of thousands of people at that funeral, we had a handful,” Shea said of scaled-down police officer funerals.

“People have to be accountable for their own actions, regardless of what neighborhood, ethnicity, where they come from, we cannot have what we had last night. We will not tolerate it.”

To continue reading, click here.

NYPD was warned ‘big crowd’ would turn out for rabbi’s funeral

The NYPD was warned that the funeral of a prominent Brooklyn rabbi would draw a “big crowd” and sent dozens of cops with barricades and light towers — despite a ban on mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Post has learned.

But the situation in Williamsburg got out of hand when mourners surged toward the synagogue because a plan to relay the service over loudspeakers was unexpectedly canceled, a longtime liaison between the Hasidic Satmar community and the NYPD said Wednesday.

Moses Weiser said he “personally spoke” with NYPD Capt. Mark Vazquez before Tuesday’s funeral of Rabbi Chaim Mertz, who reportedly died of COVID-19.

“I asked him to use his resources however he wants to put this together, and he basically told us that we should follow his instructions,” Weiser said.

“We knew there was going to be a big crowd, especially now with no schools open, no yeshivas open — everyone wants to pay their respects to such a man.”

Weiser said Mertz’s synagogue, Tolas Yakov Bais Hamedrash, “originally wanted to have just family” outside “and we would set up speakers down the street a couple of blocks so that people could spread out and listen.”

“But an order came from somewhere to cancel the speakers, I’m not sure where the order came from, and so people started gathering close to see what was going on and to hear,” he said.

To continue reading, click here. 

A Flyover, a Massive Crowded Funeral in Williamsburg, Mayor de Blasio and Covid-19


Tipster blau108425

Thousands of Orthodox Jewish mourners crowded a Brooklyn street Tuesday, April 28, flouting the city’s social distancing rules to mourn a rabbi who died of coronavirus.
Thousands of Orthodox Jewish mourners crowded a Brooklyn street Tuesday, April 28, flouting the city’s social distancing rules to mourn a rabbi who died of coronavirus.(@menasheshapiro / Twitter)


How Dare the Haredi Community, Cheskel Bennett, Chaim Deutsch, OJPAC and Others Slam Mayor De Blasio After He Broke up 2500 People Gathered for A Funeral? They are Not Speaking for the Jews?

by LostMessiah and Team

We commend the tipsters who posted pictures and video of a massive funeral  on Twitter and YouTube. It takes a village to raise a child and apparently heroes to to save the world.

The audacity of the Haredi Community, its leaders, activists and spokespeople knows no bounds. Last night Mayor Bill de Blasio accompanied by New York Police Department members, broke up a “massive” funeral that lined the streets of Williamsburg.

Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD were putting their lives at risk by being forced to demand compliance with laws that should be self-evident at this juncture. De Blasio was rightfully livid, irate, and more than willing to place blame where it rightfully belongs, on the community that attended that funeral. It does not matter that the community is Jewish. It does not matter that anti-Semitism is on the rise. The massive congregation of people for that funeral is a clear and unequivocally indefensible violation of the rules of large gatherings and social distancing. If the Jewish community that attended that funeral doesn’t want to increase anti-Semitism, they shouldn’t be throwing their defiance of laws in the faces of New Yorkers and all US citizens who are complying with mandates.

The “Yeshiva World News” is quoted as saying “Williamsburg Shomrim was seen on video before it started doing their best and prepared masks to be handed out to everyone. Unfortunately, the social distancing was not what it should be been.”

There are so many points here that are problematic. The Williamsburg Shomrim, allegedly an arm of law enforcement and funded largely by New York City’s taxpayers, should have been breaking up the crowd not assisting them to stay safe while violating the law. That’s like putting out a ladder for a thief so he doesn’t get hurt breaking into a store from the roof, instead of calling police to tell them a crime is in progress. It’s unrivaled defiance and the Shomrim, which we have always believed needs to be sunsetted out of New York law enforcement circles, has indeed proven us right yet again.  

Two Thousand, Five-Hundred (2500) people gathered in Willaimsburg for the Rabbi’s funeral, who himself died of Covid-19. They crowded the narrow and impassable streets of Williamsburg, most not donning face masks (despite the efforts of Shomrim). Setting aside that Kings County has one of the highest per-capita death rates from Covid-19 in New York City’s five boroughs and setting aside that the Blessed Rabbi died, ironically, from Covid-19, do the mourners really want to be pulling (or pushing) others into the grave with the rabbi?

Was this massive event really necessary? No.

Did it violate the Halachic principles of Pikuach Nefesh, which states that human life above all else must be protected? Yes.

And more to the point was it responsible? No.

Did it abide by the rules of social distancing? No.

Did it put others unnecessarily in danger, and that includes any first responders who will inevitably treat the sick and the Shomrim allegedly “doing their best”? Yes.

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Landmark Detroit Ruling – Students Have a Fundamental Right to Literacy – as Constitutionally Protected!

Students walk outside Detroit’s Pershing High School in 2017. A lawsuit claims the state of Michigan failed to provide the city’s students with the most fundamental of skills: the ability to read.

Court Rules Detroit Students Have Constitutional Right To An Education

In a landmark decision, a federal appeals court has ruled that children have a constitutional right to literacy, dealing a remarkable victory to students.

The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit brought by students of five Detroit schools, claiming that because of deteriorating buildings, teacher shortages and inadequate textbooks, the state of Michigan failed to provide them with the most fundamental of skills: the ability to read.

For decades, civil rights lawyers have tried to help students and families in underfunded schools by arguing that the U.S. Constitution guarantees children at least a basic education. Federal courts have consistently disagreed. Until now.

The ability to read and write is “essential” for a citizen to participate in American democracy, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday. One cannot effectively vote, answer a jury summons, pay taxes or even read a road sign if illiterate, wrote Judge Eric Clay, and so where “a group of children is relegated to a school system that does not provide even a plausible chance to attain literacy, we hold that the Constitution provides them with a remedy.”


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OJPAC and Over-Development: Pave Paradise and Put Up a….. Building – Or Be Labeled an anti-Semite.

Dear LM,

Please post this opinion piece.


OJPAC slams Orange County Community Preservation Act: Taking the Anti-Semitism Moniker Too Far in Regards to Environmental Protection/Preservation!

In February 2020, I came across an article in an Orange County, NJ newspaper, The Record Online titled “Orthodox Jewish group slams assembly bill aimed at land preservation”. Many regions like Orange County (and Central and Southern NJ as well) are seeing overdevelopment, diminishing open space, and reduction in agricultural lands.  This is lowering the quality of life as well as the character of their towns.  By preserving open space and farmland, the beauty of the land and opportunities for a strong recreation and park systems can be possible. This is for current and future generations to enjoy.  I do not know how any municipal or county government would develop a land conservation program to discriminate and prevent the growth of any community into that area!

However in their usual style when they do not get what they want, another Orthodox Jewish advocacy group is claiming that this bill is discriminating against the growth of their community in Orange County where there is anti-Hasidic sentiment.  In the article, Yossi Gestetner of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council says the proposed law “targets Jews” and a tweet posted by OJPAC stated “The bill is a direct result of local agitation in Orange County against Hasidim who buy properties”.  I rolled my eyes and thought, “there they go again!”

I cannot get over how the Orthodox leadership and Orthodox Jewish advocacy groups could care less about the long term environmental consequence in demanding their right to have uncontrolled high density housing. Do they not realize that natural resources, which include land and water, are limited and their supply will eventually dry out? What about the quality of life for OJ people who live in urban-like “shtetls “such as Lakewood, Kiryas Joel, Monsey? I am sure these individuals and their families feel suffocated in these enclaves though the majority will not say anything for fear of retribution. One can see Orthodox Jews in huge numbers frequent parks and beaches all over the Jersey Shore. They most likely need to get away from the nightmare that is Lakewood (concrete, traffic, no space) and breathe! And yet their leaders want to minimize open spaces and force compliance upon non-Orthodox and non-Jews in the process.

It was extremely disrespectful, unreasonable and inappropriate to label this bill as “anti-Hasidic growth”. These municipalities and counties are looking at the long term quality of life for ALL people to enjoy the beauty of nature by having open space and a robust parks and recreating system. My feedback to Mr. Gestetner and OJPAC: in this case you have taken labeling land preservation too far by calling it “anti-Hasidic growth”.

All of us, including your community, have the right to enjoy nature. There is nothing “anti-Semitic” about that!

Lax Oversight, Political Clout, No Enforcement and Covid-19 – A Nursing Home Disaster in the Making [Opinion]

A resident at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington.
Credit…Grant Hindsley for The New York Times

Nursing Homes Were a Disaster Waiting to Happen

It was clear almost from the outset that the elderly and frail were in the greatest danger from Covid-19. And it was clear to anyone familiar with American nursing homes that these facilities would not be up to the task of protecting their older and infirm residents.

As of Thursday, Covid-19 has killed over 10,000 residents and staff members in long-term-care facilities in 23 states that report fatality data, about 27 percent of the Covid-19 deaths in those states, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The weaknesses in patient care and oversight at nursing homes that made those deaths more likely were longstanding, widespread and well known.

One-third of Medicare beneficiaries admitted to nursing homes suffer harm within about two weeks of entering the facility, according to a 2014 report from the federal Office of Inspector General. These are the short-term residents for whom facilities are paid the most and who are typically most able to articulate their concerns if something is wrong. Where does that leave a majority of residents who are in the facility long-term, most of whom are older, frail and cognitively impaired?

These existing problems intensify the risk that residents will suffer and die not only from Covid-19 but also from the erosion of care the pandemic is causing, increasing neglect and abuse in a system that on a good day too often failed to fulfill its duties.

Despite the absence of federal reporting requirements, we are seeing that residents and families are being devastated by Covid-19. In New Jersey, an anonymous tip led authorities to a nursing home that was storing corpses in a shed. At least 29 of its residents have died from Covid-19 and many more residents and staff members have been infected. Unsurprisingly, this for-profit nursing home has a history of seriously low staffing and citations for substandard infection control.

In a Houston-area nursing home, more than 80 residents and staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus. This facility also has seriously low staffing and close to four times the number of substantiated claims than the national average.

The tragedy is that government standards of safety and care at homes certified under Medicaid or Medicare (a large majority) are strong. If enforcement of those standards had not been so lax, the devastation we have seen in nursing homes could have been mitigated.

Those standards were developed in response to reports of horrific conditions in the 1970s and 1980s. The federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, and the regulations and guidance through which the law is carried out, most recently revised in 2016, require effective infection control and prevention including hand hygiene and the use of personal protection equipment.

Still, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one million to three million serious infections occur every year in nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities, and as many as 380,000 people die of those infections every year.

The most important precautions against infection are inexpensive and simple, and the most common violations involve simple sanitation and hygiene practices, like hand washing. Nevertheless, infection control and prevention problems were the most frequently cited violation in nursing homes last year.

In New York, inspectors observed an aide cleaning an incontinent resident with a soiled washcloth then, without washing his hands, “proceeded to transport the resident to the common area.”

Such poor care persists because regulators let the nursing home industry treat standards of care as goals rather than actual requirements. The nursing home industry wields enormous influence in Washington and state capitals through multimillion-dollar trade associations, powerful law firms and generous contributions to politicians and political action committees. As a result, nursing homes, rather than nursing home residents, are often viewed by policymakers as the constituency whose interests merit protection. After President Trump was elected, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services started openly referring to the nursing home industry as its “customer.”

To continue reading the complete OPINION in The New York Times, click here.

Not About Hoarding, Gov. Murphy, About Resale Market… How Many Masks Were Removed from…? – Covid-19

Murphy: ‘Hoarders Deserve Special Place In Hell,’ FBI Agents Raid 2nd Lakewood Warehouse

For the second time in two days, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers raided a Lakewood warehouse, leaving with truckloads of personal protective equipment.

More protective gear — including masks critically needed during the coronavirus outbreak — were hoarded by a local business, according to several media outlets.

Investigators in FBI jackets entered a warehouse at 155 Oberlin North Thursday, but would not speak to news reporters.

One employee told the Asbury Park Press “it’s about masks.”

Multiple freight trucks transported boxes away from the building for hours.

Gov. Phil Murphy, during his daily briefing, said, “As a general matter, if someone is trying to hoard or price gouge in this hour of need, they deserve that special place in hell.

On Wednesday, Corruption Watch of NJ posted a Facebook video showing a New Jersey State Police trooper standing by crime tape that sealed off a parking lot as FBI agents went in and out of the Deco Tile warehouse, some carrying boxes.

To continue reading, click here.

A Free Market for Medical Equipment?The FBI in Lakewood, NJ – 155 Oberlin Ave. and Covid-19


Lakewood raids: FBI targets warehouse, second location after Wednesday investigation

LAKEWOOD – For the second time in as many days, FBI investigators Thursday descended upon a township business and emerged hours later with stacked boxes of materials.

Investigators in FBI jackets entered a warehouse at 155 Oberlin Ave. North Thursday morning, but offered no explanation about their inquiry. They were later seen loading stacks of boxes into large trucks.

Several businesses are located at the address and it was unclear which was being targeted.

One business owner, who asked that his name not be used, said the FBI action was targeted at an enterprise that had only recently taken up occupancy.

Lakewood raids:  Business investigated by FBI agents

An unidentified employee at clothing manufacturer Murex Industries, anoth of the businesses, told the Press that the FBI action was “about masks.”

Murex Vice President Nathan Zelikovitz later told the Press, “I believe they went to another unit at our address. In 155 Oberlin Ave. North there are four units and this had nothing to do with me.”

To continue reading click here.

How Many Religious NJ Residents Need to Die Before Someone says, “Es Iz Ganug!” “Maspik!” “Daiy, Nu?” “Halas!” – Covid-19

Lakewood photo shoot, group at school violated coronavirus orders, officials say

Several people found attending a wedding photo shoot and others at a school in Lakewood were among the latest incidents in the township of people violating Gov. Phil Murphy’s emergency orders during the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Wednesday.

Police on Tuesday were called to a report of a wedding on Read Place, where officers found two adults and three children in a van in a driveway, according to authorities.

“The driver advised that she was there for family photos for a wedding,” the state Attorney General’s Office said in a statement. “In the back yard, there was a photographer, Yakov Makukha, photographing a family of six.”

Makukha, Pinchos Aron, 25, Miriam Aron, 33, Yehudah Aron, 36, Tziporah Aron, 33, Yaakov Wiesner, Peninah Wiesner, 30, Ephraim Aron, 34, and Shmarya Aron, 20, were each issued summonses for violating emergency orders.


Police in Lakewood have repeatedly found people allegedly violating the governor’s orders – including a ban on events and gatherings – during the virus outbreak.


To read the Article in, click here.

A Free Market for Medical Equipment, Respirators? The FBI in Lakewood, NJ – 1980 Swarthmore Ave and Covid-19

Lakewood investigation: FBI agents descend upon industrial park, carry boxes marked ‘respirators’

LAKEWOOD — Federal agents Wednesday afternoon descended upon a bustling township industrial park and were seen carrying boxes of what could be high-demand items: respirators.

A reader alerted the Press to the law enforcement activity about 4:30 p.m. at 1980 Swarthmore Ave., in the township industrial park, a mixed-use facility with an office building in the front and a warehouse in the back.

Officials on the scene, home to businesses including a mattress company, a tile business and several others, declined to comment.

“We never confirm or deny the existence of any investigation,” said Matthew Reilly, spokesman for the United States Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.

To continue reading click here.

Covid-19 and Blood Clots, Is there a Doctor in the House? Could Factor Disorders be Playing a Part?

A member of the military walks among cubicles being prepared at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on April 3. (Reuters/Andrew Kelly)
A member of the military walks among cubicles being prepared at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on April 3. (Andrew Kelly)

Could Blood Factor Disorders be Linked to Death of Patients with Covid-19? Could there be a Cause and Effect between Covid-19 and a Blood Factor Disorder that Sets Off the Clotting Cascade?

We are posting this with the hope that one of our readers will pass this along to someone who might have the ability to research the theory.

We believe that there could be an underlying connection between Covid-19 deaths and Factor disorders of the blood. We think that this is particularly true where the death was caused by some movement of the clotting cascade, in other words, where the Covid-19 lead to stroke, heart attack or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Alternatively, we think it’s possible that the hardest hit patients of Covid-19 may have these types of co-morbidities which have gone untested, undetected and undiagnosed. Most people, absent a specific health event, like a series of miscarriages, will have no reason to request genetic testing.

Let’s say, for example, a person suffers from Factor V Leiden (heterozygous), Prothrombin Gene Mutation (Factor II) and is Protein C and S deficient. The two Factor disorders affect the clotting cascade and combined with the Protein Deficiencies the movement of that cascade once set off is very rapid. In pregnancy a situation like this can cause DVT or miscarriages. During illness these disorders can cause DVT  or Embolisms (Pulmonary) or stroke. During any sort of surgery, special precautions are required. And, in most cases, people with these disorders require anti-coagulation therapy long term (like Coumadin or some other appropriate anti-coagulation therapy).

Factor V Leiden was discovered in Leiden in the Netherlands. It is generally believed to be more common to people of Eastern European decent, and there is a going theory that it is more common to Jews than non. With respect to Prothrombin Gene Mutation, there are varying degrees of thought on its providence. 

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Roosters in the Henhouse – Cuomo’s Big Donors are Immune from Liability for Nursing Home Deaths – Covid-19



As Virus Spreads in Nursing Homes, Gov. Cuomo’s Big Donors Are Immune from Liability

Theodore Hamm Apr 23


Corpses left in the hallway of a nursing home in East New York. A whopping 55 deaths at another facility in Cobble Hill. Dozens of fatalities at comparable locations in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

The gruesome events have produced a spate of alarm across the city, which during the pandemic has seen over 2,100 deaths in nursing homes from COVID-19. Across the state, the total number has surpassed 3,500.

Gov. Cuomo has raked in dozens of five-figure donations  from nursing home executives and their lobbyists.

Garnering much less attention was relevant legislation included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s austerity budget that the legislature approved earlier this month. “Tucked inside the budget bill,” as the Wall Street Journal noted, was liability protection for both hospitals and nursing homes during the pandemic.

This means that both entities are operating with immunity from civil lawsuits and most criminal penalties during the crisis. While this protection may make sense for besieged hospitals, why it applies to nursing homes merits attention. 

The Greater New York Hospital Association, which includes nursing homes, took credit for writing the legislation. Amid the governor’s 2018 reelection campaign, that group contributed $1.15 million to the state Democratic Committee’s “housekeeping” account, which Cuomo controls.

During his three runs for governor, Cuomo also raked in dozens of five-figure donations directly from nursing home executives and their lobbyists. Many of the worst-rated facilities in the state have maintained a quite friendly relationship with Cuomo. 

Cuomo originally issued an executive order bestowing immunity on hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities on March 23. The legislation passed with the budget extends that protection through the duration of the crisis — and covers retroactively to March 7, the day Cuomo declared a state of emergency. 

Many proponents of the liability protection view it as a dramatic, but necessary step given the scope of the current crisis. “In normal circumstances, it would be unthinkable to confer immunity in this fashion,” New York State Bar Association president Henry Greenberg told the Albany Times-Union.

Most expressions of support for the measure highlight a legitimate need to protect frontline healthcare providers from malpractice lawsuits. The problem is that administrators at hospitals and nursing homes can now make life-or-death decisions without fear of repercussions. 

Brooklyn attorney John O’Hara, who won a high-profile wrongful death suit in 2015 against a now-shuttered Prospect Park nursing home, says that legal action helps create accountability. “We need to know about staffing issues, hiring practices and safety procedures during the crisis,” says O’Hara. “Lawsuits are one of the best methods of finding out what really happened — and preventing future disasters.”

As Newsday reported, families who have lost loved ones at Long Island nursing homes are indeed sounding the alarm regarding staffing and safety issues. “Where were the extra supplies? The extra staff?” asked one grieving woman. “They left [dying people] there like they didn’t matter.”

At a press conference on Wednesday, Cuomo responded to questions about the state’s directive that nursing homes must re-accept residents diagnosed with the COVID-19, but who are sent back from the hospital.

Cuomo stressed that the nursing homes are privately owned and that the state’s role is to regulate them (via the Department of Health). If facilities commit serious violations, he said, “they can lose their license.”

Given that the Department of Health answers to the governor, that seems like a minimal risk for the nursing home operators. Amid the crisis, they will thus proceed with immunity. 

Ted Hamm’s Bernie’s Brooklyn: How Growing Up in the New Deal City Shaped Bernie Sanders’ Politics is available for pre-order.

For The Indypendent’s full coronavirus coverage, click here. Please make a recurring or one-time contribution today. It’s readers like you who ensure we continue publishing in these challenging times. Thank you!

SBA Without Money to Pay Small Businesses, Monty Bennett and Dad Got Dividends and Most Covid SBA Money!

Hotelier Monty Bennett and his father were paid $2 million in preferred dividends from the adviser of Ashford Hospitality Trust, which defaulted on debt and laid off workers.

Dallas Hotel Owner Is Biggest Beneficiary of Coronavirus Loan Program

Monty Bennett’s lodging business has been hit hard by the pandemic. He said Ashford Inc. and its subsidiaries have laid off or furloughed 95% of their 7,000 employees. An affiliated company, the owner of 117 hotels, stopped making payments on most of its $4 billion in debt, he said.

But during the crisis, Mr. Bennett and other preferred shareholders still got paid millions of dollars in preferred dividends. At one of the companies, Ashford Hospitality Trust, payments to third-party preferred shareholders were declared by its board of directors, of which Mr. Bennett is chairman. At the trust’s adviser, Ashford Inc., where Mr. Bennett serves as chief executive and chairman, the board announced a preferred dividend payment to Mr. Bennett and his father.

Ashford Hospitality Trust, a real-estate investment trust, has been an active participant in the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. The company’s subsidiaries have received about $30 million from 42 loans and expect to receive more, according to an April 21 public filing. That amount is the largest of the more than 100 public company disclosures related to these loans reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The $30 million was about 10 times the average amount a public company received, the Journal’s analysis shows.

Separately, subsidiaries of Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc., another company advised by Ashford Inc. and where Mr. Bennett also serves as chairman, were granted $15.8 million in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, according to public filings. They had received $10.6 million as of Tuesday.

Some publicly traded companies have come under criticism for taking money when many smaller businesses were left out of the program before it ran out of funds last week. Shake Shack Inc. agreed to return its $10 million loan after facing a backlash from other restaurant owners. Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc., owner of Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain, received $20 million, the second highest amount, trailing only Ashford Hospitality Trust.

Mr. Bennett, referring to Ashford Hospitality Trust, said that “75% or more of the proceeds will be used to bring our employees back to work with the balance to be used to pay utilities, rent, and debt service to lenders.”

Mr. Bennett is the largest shareholder of Ashford Inc., which manages Ashford Hospitality Trust’s operations. Mr. Bennett beneficially owns 6.9% of Ashford Hospitality Trust through shares and other securities, according to public filings, which would make him one of the company’s largest shareholders, according to FactSet.

Ashford Hospitality Trust, a publicly traded hotel owner, committed a “fraudulent scheme” by moving money from hotels to the parent company in the second week of March, attorneys for Brookfield Asset Management Inc. wrote in a letter sent to Mr. Bennett and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Brookfield is a lender on properties owned by Ashford Hospitality Trust.

Mr. Bennett says Brookfield is trying to bully Ashford Hospitality Trust into accepting unfavorable loan terms. He says the money is Ashford Hospitality Trust’s to use, and that the company may use it to pay for overhead, dividends or employee salaries.


To Continue Reading in The Wall Street Journal, click here.

Gov. Murphy, AG Grewal – Are You Okay with Weddings at Yeshiva Toras Aron in Lakewood? Covid-19 is Killing…

Coronavirus in Lakewood: Weddings resume with social distancing in mind, but are they lawful?

LAKEWOOD – Religious marriage ceremonies have resumed here under new social distancing guidelines, though the authority for the move is unclear, and county and state officials insist there has been no relaxation of state restrictions on such activities.

About a dozen Orthodox Jewish couples will get married in coming days, just ahead of a yearly period of mourning that prohibits celebrations, including weddings, between April 23 and May 10, said Bentzi Inzelbuch, a leader of the initiative to allow the ceremonies. He described himself as “a volunteer who has the connections and trust of all.”

An email sent by rabbi Aaron Kotler, president and CEO of Beth Medrah Govoha, the Talmudic college behind Lakewood’s growth, circulated over the weekend stating that the “authorities charged with Covid-19 enforcement have approved a model and venue for weddings that is 100% compliant with the state of N.J. social distancing regulations.”

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The Cruel Irony, a Direct Link Between Covid-19 and Education [opinion]


The following is a Letter to the Editor we received. We are posting it with the anonymity attributed to it.

It is premised upon a direct link between secular education and pandemic deaths.

While we do not necessarily agree with the numbers of dead as it relates to education, primarily because there are other factors that might underlie why Covid-19 kills some and not others, the premise holds true if you look to the sheer numbers of sick within the communities our writer cites.

The rate of infection is consistent with the premise, namely that education and respect for secular authority is keeping people healthier.

Read on…

The Cruel Irony, Keep them Uneducated in Secular Subjects and you Keep them Observant…. and they are now Dying in Proportionately Higher Numbers [opinion]

Dear LostMessiah:

Matzav posted a list of those who have died from Covid-19 and the areas where those dead were located within New York and New Jersey. Please accept the following opinion related to that list.

For years now, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwibel, the head of Agudas Israel, State Senator Simcha Felder, Attorney Avi Schick and his sister NYU professor Adina Schick, have fought to protect the ongoing education abuse in the Brooklyn Chasidic community.

All four of them fought to keep the Chasidic community uneducated, isolated, and separate from the world and to do so used every play in the book. 

They did this despite the fact that they all personally believe in secular education for their own children and are neither members nor live in the Chasidic community.

The bitter irony is, their own community of Flatbush came out relatively unscathed from the pandemic, as their community believes and trusts the civil authorities and therefore did not congregate.

Not so the Chasidic community, which suffered over 215 tragic deaths to the corona virus.

In the end, all Zwiebel, Felder, and Schick accomplished through their covering for education neglect and abuse was death and more death.

A Shanda if there every was one!

Innovative, In Demand, Cobble Hill Health Center a Covid-19 Petri Dish, Resources and Oversight?

Emergency medical workers arrive at Cobble Hill Health Center, Friday, April 17, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Emergency medical workers arrive at Cobble Hill Health Center, Friday, April 17, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
 John Minchillo—AP

‘Under Siege’: Brooklyn Nursing Home Reports 55 Deaths

(NEW YORK) — As residents at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, began dying in late February from a coronavirus outbreak that would eventually take 43 lives, there was little sign of trouble at the Cobble Hill Health Center, a 360-bed facility in an upscale section of Brooklyn.

Its Facebook page posted a cheerful story encouraging relatives to quiz their aging loved ones about their lives, and photos of smiling third graders at a nearby school making flower arrangements for residents.

That quickly changed. By the middle of March, the CEO began sending increasingly alarmed emails about banning visitors, screening staff, confining residents, wiping down all surfaces, and having all-hands-on-deck meetings to prepare everyone for the coming coronavirus “freight train.”

“I’ll be darned if I’m not going to do everything in my power to protect them,” Donny Tuchman wrote before things got worse. More than 100 staffers, nearly a third of the workforce, went out sick. Those left began wearing garbage bags because of a shortage of protective gear. Not a single resident has been able to get tested for the virus to this day.

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Nursing Home Owner-Financially-Backed NY Governor Doesn’t Know Covid-19 Policy? Where Is Oversight? MONEY…


Cuomo didn’t know coronavirus patients are being sent back to nursing homes

New York’s health commissioner on Monday defended a directive that requires nursing homes to readmit residents who’ve tested positive for the coronavirus — as Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed he didn’t know the policy was in place.

Cuomo was asked about the state’s policy on admitting or re-admitting to nursing homes people who’d tested positive for COVID-19.

“That’s a good question, I don’t know,” the governor said.

Cuomo’s startling admission came days after the state revealed last week that at least 3,316 people in nursing homes and adult care facilities had died of coronavirus at their residences or in hospitals across the state.

That tally — which officials have said is likely an undercount — included at least 2,056 deaths in New York City.

Updated statistics released Monday afternoon increased the death toll to 3,448 as of Sunday, with 2,105 in the Big Apple.

Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, whom Cuomo referred the question to, said that under the state’s policy, “if you are positive, you should be admitted back to a nursing home.”

“The necessary precautions will be taken to protect the other residents there,” he said during Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing in Albany.

Zucker was asked to explain how the policy could be justified, given how state officials have repeatedly said how quickly the virus can spread and how vulnerable nursing home residents are to COVID-19.

“And that’s why we’re working closely with the nursing home leadership and the individuals who are working in the nursing homes to protect those individuals who are coming back who have COVID-19 and went back to the nursing homes and where they came from,” he said.

To continue reading click here.

Nursing Home Oversight – Who is Really Regulating – Body Count – Weakened Regulations – Covid-19 [video]


States move for more transparency on COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities

Rachel Maddow points out the need for more public information about coronavirus cases and deaths in U.S. nursing homes and long-term care facilities both because the public needs to know and because governments need that information to know how to direct resources to address the problem.

Families Take Note! Nursing Home Must be Reporting to you – Don’t Take “No” Covid-19

Nursing homes now have to report coronavirus cases to families and federal government

Woman explains why she took third job at mom's nursing home

Woman explains why she took third job at mom’s nursing home 03:05


As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps through the nation’s nursing homes, the facilities will now have to report all cases to patients and families, as well as to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thousands of residents have died from coronavirus in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with one of the earliest outbreaks in the US happening at the Life Care Center in Washington killing several dozen people.
Many families have complained that they haven’t been told of what’s happening inside the facilities where their loved ones reside, though nursing homes are required to inform state or local health officials.
Now, nursing homes will have to tell patients and their families within 12 hours of a coronavirus diagnosis and give weekly updates.
The facilities will also have to provide information on confirmed and suspected cases, hospital admissions and deaths of patients and staff to the CDC, said Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Her agency will also make the data available to the public but has not yet decided how.
“Nursing homes have been ground zero for Covid-19,” said Verma, calling the new reporting requirement “critical” to monitoring the virus’ spread and reopening the country.
The agency has already issued guidance to nursing homes, advising facilities to restrict visitors, tighten infection control measures and ensure staff are using personal protective equipment.
Older Americans have proven particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday said nursing homes have been a “feeding frenzy” for the outbreak. The hard-hit state said last week that there have been more than 1,100 confirmed and presumed coronavirus deaths in long-term care nursing home facilities.
To see video and read on CNN, click here.

Feeding Frenzy? For The Money-Makers who Own Nursing Homes or the Elders who are Ravaged by Covid-19? [VIDEO]

Governor Cuomo is a Central Figure in the State’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Crisis

Industry Insider Explains Surge in Coronavirus Deaths at NY
Senior Care Facilities, Urges Trump to Send in Army Medical Teams 
By Gary Glennell Toms
In an April 18 edition of the New York Daily News, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called nursing homes “the biggest concern for New York authorities battling the coronavirus pandemic, even as a lower overall total of 540 people died in the past day.”

“The relatively lower death toll represents a dip of more than 25% from just a few days ago. But the governor said the still-raging epidemic claimed 36 elderly victims in nursing homes — and still poses a dire threat,” the report stated.

“Nursing homes are the single biggest fear in all of this,” said Governor Cuomo. “Vulnerable people in one place, it is the feeding frenzy for this virus.”

“Nursing homes are the No. 1 long term consequence of this disease,” he added.
My guest for this installment is Jack Halpern, Founder and Chairman of MyEdler, a New York-based elder-rights company. According to Halpern, it’s the only independent advocacy company in the world focused exclusively on the needs of elders. Mr. Halpern has made several appearances on The G-Man Interviews and is here to discuss the surge in COVID-19 deaths at senior care facilities in New York and other states.

The interview was conducted on April 17.


King David’s Allure, Chateau’s Care Rite and Gallatin Nursing and the Bodies Piling Up… Covid-19 – Absent Oversight.

Chateau at Brooklyn Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

NYC nursing home running out of room for dead bodies amid coronavirus crisis

About 90 residents have died amid the coronavirus crisis at just two Brooklyn nursing homes — and the situation at one is so dire that it’s running out of room to store bodies, The Post has learned.

“These places don’t have morgues,” a nurse said while leaving the Chateau at Brooklyn Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Sheepshead Bay said Monday.

“They were putting them downstairs but now a lot of them are being left in their rooms. What else can you do right now?”

The nurse, who came out of the building pulling a roller case and a red biohazard bucket, added, “It’s so sad to be taking blood from someone and the person in the next bed — next to them — is dead.”

In a prepared statement, the Chateau at Brooklyn said that “no patient that passes away has ever been left in his or her bed.”

Another worker at the 189-bed nursing home said that “just over 40” residents had died there “in the last three weeks.”

“They got several patients in isolation now and they are doing a whole lot of cleaning,” the worker said.


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Rockland County, NY and “Moserim” – A Death Threat That Should not Be Ignored!


Please note:

Rabbi Horowitz does not know the blogger(s) behind this site nor is there any collaboration. He likely does not support much of what we write about; but we have tremendous respect.

We believe that his life is in danger and we are posting in the hopes that additional publicity will protect him and the other two on the Poster. Jacob Korbluh is a journalist. The actual poster below was up on his Twitter page, republished from a Twitter page of Frimet Goldberger. 

If anyone sends information to this page ( that might help Rabbi Horowitz, please know we will forward it along. We have little faith in the Ramapo Police Department, but ask for any assistance.

We will use any and all channels available to us.

From the Facebook Files of Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz and from Twitter for the picture:

Image may contain: 3 people, text

Yaakov Horowitz

This Is Not OK!!

I just filed a police report with Ramapo Police against the person who created this flyer and against the person who owns or has access to this twitter account. Ramapo Police is taking this death threat ** very seriously.

Life has taught me that when terrorists makes threats, take them at their word.

(For the record, all responsible rabbis across the spectrum of Judaism fully support and enforce social distancing guidelines, and the people responsible for this represent a tiny fringe of our community. See here for my opinion on people who aren’t following the guidelines, and I will not be silenced from expressing it in this great country. Full stop.)

I ask anyone who knows the person or people responsible for this death threat, to please contact Ramapo Police at 845-357-2400. Please reference this investigation by File # RP-0300080-20
** The flyer states that the 3 of us (I don’t know the other 2 fellows) are “Mosrim” (loosely; Jews who report other Jews to the authorities) should not be permitted in synagogue after the pandemic ends, and and should be banished from the community. But the term “Moser” (singular of mosrim) is very loaded, because when Jews lived under authoritarian regimes, getting reported to the authorities was often a death sentence. And @heimishNiyes added text from Maimonides distorted out of context which states that “It is permitted to kill a Mosur in any place and at any time, meaning ex judiciously.

Where is Nursing Home Oversight? Who is Checking Covid Spread? Why Are Bodies Permitted to Pile Up – Covid-19

Chateau at Brooklyn Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

NYC nursing home running out of room for dead bodies amid coronavirus crisis

About 90 residents have died amid the coronavirus crisis at just two Brooklyn nursing homes — and the situation at one is so dire that it’s running out of room to store bodies, The Post has learned.

“These places don’t have morgues,” a nurse said while leaving the Chateau at Brooklyn Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Sheepshead Bay said Monday.

“They were putting them downstairs but now a lot of them are being left in their rooms. What else can you do right now?”

The nurse, who came out of the building pulling a roller case and a red biohazard bucket, added, “It’s so sad to be taking blood from someone and the person in the next bed — next to them — is dead.”

In a prepared statement, the Chateau at Brooklyn said that “no patient that passes away has ever been left in his or her bed.”

Another worker at the 189-bed nursing home said that “just over 40” residents had died there “in the last three weeks.”

“They got several patients in isolation now and they are doing a whole lot of cleaning,” the worker said.

The Chateau at Brooklyn’s lengthy statement did not dispute any of those assertions.

The worker also noted, “It’s worse at my other job. At King David on Cropsey [Avenue], they’re closing in on 50.”

City Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn), whose district lies near the 271-bed King David Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Gravesend, said he’d been “getting reports of ambulances coming in and out” of the facility.

“No one from the city or state has been able to confirm virus cases but clearly something is going on,” he said.

To continue reading the NYPost, click here.

Call for National Guard to be Deployed in Lakewood – Trump Appointee and Choice of Words, Covid-19

NJ Republican Calls on Governor to Deploy Troops to “Uncivilized” and “Selfish” Jewish Enclave of Lakewood to Stop Spread of COVID-19

JACKSON, NJ -Jackson Township Councilman Barry Calogero, who also works as a politically appointed executive director of the administration of President Donald J. Trump, USDA said what has been on the minds of many in towns surrounding the Jewish enclave of Lakewood Township during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Township of Lakewood has been under scrutiny by area residents, politicians and police after a string of incidents were published in the media depicting people in that community disobeying Governor Murphy’s executive orders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 infection rate in Lakewood has exceeded nearby towns by nearly two to one, according to figures released by the Ocean County Health Department.   Calogero put out a public plea on Tuesday to deploy the Army National Guard to his town and towns surrounding Lakewood to put an end to it and to use the military power to enforce Governor Murphy’s quarantine.

Calogero first thanked the community in Jackson for adhering to the guidelines and staying home.

How in God’s name can civilized people disrespect their neighbors?

“Unfortunately, not everyone is following the law of the land, unfortunately, there are groups of people who hide behind cultures and religious beliefs who put themselves, our first responders and quite honestly all of Jackson and all of the bordering towns at risk.  For their selfishness, irresponsibility, and inability to follow the law put in place by President Trump and Governor Murphy,” he said. “How in God’s name can civilized people disrespect their neighbors the President and the Governor’s orders.  It is with a sad heart I implore governor murphy to set aside politics and use your power and authority to call out the national guard to enforce the law and protect Ocean County from those who cannot seem to follow our laws.”

Not a time for politics!

To continue reading at the Shore News Network click link here.

Response to the Forward – Jews Not Being Blamed for Covid Spread and Non-Compliance Should Not be Defended

The Forward - News that Matters to American Jews


By: Julie D. Globus and a Number of Anonymous Contributors

This Opinion is a response to the piece written by Ari Feldman of The Forward entitled:  It’s there, it’s nonstop’: In Facebook groups in Hasidic areas, Jews blamed for virus spread, referred to as a News piece, which is partly reprinted below. Please note that since the original drafting of this Opinion, a piece came out by Steve Gold (mentioned below) in The Jewish Standard entitled Hate is also a virus – and it also killsWe add a reference to it because he does address some points we made below and to some extent we agree. To the extent we don’t, please continue reading.

While we make no bones about acknowledging there is an anti-Haredi sentiment in Rockland County, as well as Lakewood, New Jersey, Toms River, New Jersey, Orange County, New York, parts of Israel, parts of Belgium, England, Europe and the list goes on, we do not believe it is generalized anti-Semitism. Our thesis is derived from a parallel comparison to areas where there are flagrantly disrespectful churchgoers, one can see similar anti-religious sentiment. The major difference is that the Haredim, unlike most churchgoers have chosen a form of dress that shines light on their religion and practice and by doing so, shines light on any blemishes within the community. 

The general comparison between Haredim and churchgoers is a contextual discussion related to societal norms versus religious convention and should not be labeled anti-Semitism, for to do so, diminishes legitimate concerns of law abiding citizens everywhere, who themselves may have chosen to forego public observance in favor of safety.

We do not think that pieces like that written by Feldman, or the Rockland County face of the Haredim, Aron Wieder, or speeches of those like Michaeld D. Cohen, who is the Eastern Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center are helpful to the cause. We do not think Cohen, who is quoted in Feldman’s article, is appropriately responding to concerns of secular Jews and non-Jews, nor do we think he is doing Jews anywhere any favors.

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There are Apropos Expressions for the Abuses Within Nursing Homes, Where is Govt. Oversight? Covid-19

Nursing Home Oversight and the Utter Failure to Protect the Elderly and Most Vulnerable

Dear Readers:

We have been calling for nursing home oversight since our inception. It is not that difficult to cross reference nursing and rehabilitation centers by, across, within and without state lines and determine which should be provided with new licenses and which should not. These are our aged members of society who are being harmed. They are vulnerable and are then dehumanized by some of these owners, one more unscrupulous than the next.

There are names of owners that are common in different states, varied ownership, conglomerates, management structures, but it is all traceable. It just takes some time. To be clear, the nursing home business is very lucrative, ripe for fraud and financial mismanagement, endowed with a sheer and utter lack of government oversight, bestowed with access to public funds (Medicare and Medicaid) and crafted by savvy corporate attorneys.

Yet, government oversight is in short supply particularly when nursing home owners are generally large campaign donors to political campaigns. We believe that there are appropriate expressions for some of these owners and in the context of the observant Jewish owners who allow these abuses to continue, the most appropriate can be found in Yiddish humor.  We have provided below an apropos expression for the NJ Nursing and Rehabilitation owners who let bodies pile up. Note that these guys own nursing homes in a number of states.

It might be time for a “bissel” oversight? Those who accept contributions from owners who commit the types of abuse and neglect set out below have blood on their hands.

We offer our sincerest condolences to the families, whether Jewish or not. We are without words for your suffering, except perhaps in Yiddish (to the owners) as follows:


הונדערט הײַזער זאָל ער האָבן, אין יעדער הויז הונדערט צימערן, אין יעדער צימער צוואַנציק בעטן, און קדחת זאַל אים וואַרפֿן פֿון איין בעט אין דער צווייטער.



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Scrutinizing Religious Leaders of Any Religion is Necessary When their Flouting Authority Leads to Death – Covid-19

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish youths look at Israeli police as they patrol to enforce restrictions of a partial lockdown against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, March 30, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

Orthodox Leaders Flouted State Authority for Years — Coronavirus Spread Was the Result

By now, there is near universal agreement that the initial response from many ultra-Orthodox leaders to the spread of coronavirus was an embarrassing and deadly failure.

While some wanted to chalk up early non-compliance with the social distancing guidelines among the ultra-Orthodox to just a handful of crazies — or claim that the leadership has done everything in their power to stop it — more recent incidents of non-compliance leave no doubt that the problem is real and systemic.

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Nursing Homes in NJ, USA, 17 Bodies Found, Makeshift Morgue, Governor Murphy Get Them Out of Harm’s Way!

Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center in Andover, N.J., where 17 bodies were found in a small morgue.
Credit…Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

Tip leads police to 17 bodies at a New Jersey nursing home

ANDOVER, New Jersey — A tip of a body in a shed led Andover Police to one of New Jersey’s largest nursing homes Monday evening where they found 17 bodies in the facility’s morgue, one of the responding officers told CNN.

The officers responding to the Andover Subacute and Rehab Center II didn’t find a body in the shed, but employees asked them for assistance with the bodies in the morgue.

“The staff was clearly overwhelmed and probably short-staffed,” Andover Police Chief Eric Danielson, one of the responding officers, told CNN. “The residents were expiring. Why? We’re not sure if it’s from Covid-19 or from other diseases, but we tried our best to ease the burden.”

RELATED: Gov. Murphy: I don’t see normal gathering in foreseeable future

Nursing homes have been a vulnerable target for the pandemic that has killed more than 30,000 people in the US. Visitors have been barred in many facilities to reduce bringing in infections, and staff has raced to treat patients as the virus spreads internally. It is not clear, however, if coronavirus was the cause of the deaths at Andover Subacute.

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With the Haredim of Lakewood, NJ Looking to the Fed. Govt. for Guidelines, Ivanka’s non-compliance is Dangerous

Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s eldest daughter and a White House adviser, and her family spent Passover at her father’s private golf club.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Ivanka Trump, Disregarding Federal Guidelines, Travels to N.J. for Passover

Ms. Trump herself has not followed the federal guidelines advising against discretionary travel, leaving Washington for another one of her family’s homes.

WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s eldest daughter and a senior White House adviser, has positioned herself as one of the leaders of the administration’s economic relief efforts and one of its most vocal advocates of social distancing.

“Those lucky enough to be in a position to stay at home, please, please do so,” Ms. Trump said in a video she posted online, encouraging Americans to follow federal guidelines about social distancing, which suggests that people stay at least six feet apart. “Each and every one of us plays a role in slowing the spread.”

But Ms. Trump herself has not followed the federal guidelines advising against discretionary travel, leaving Washington for another one of her family’s homes, even as she has publicly thanked people for self-quarantining. And effective April 1, the city of Washington issued a stay-at-home order for all residents unless they are performing essential activities.

Ms. Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who is also a senior White House adviser, traveled with their three children to the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey to celebrate the first night of Passover this month, according to two people with knowledge of their travel plans, even as seders across the country were canceled and families gathered remotely over apps like Zoom.


“We’re all in this together,” she said in a video message she posted on social media.

“We’ll emerge from this stronger than ever before, and maybe more deeply and profoundly connected with our own humanity and our core values,” she said, adding, “Let’s do everything we can to stop the spread.”

To read the article in its entirety in the New York Times, click here.

The Hypocrisy that Knows No Bounds – Ivanka and Jared in NJ for and Passover

Ivanka Trump, Kushner traveled to New Jersey for Passover despite federal guidelines: report

Ivanka TrumpPresident Trump‘s eldest daughter, and her husband Jared Kushner reportedly traveled from Washington, D.C., to New Jersey earlier this month to celebrate the first night of Passover, despite federal guidelines advising against nonessential travel due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Ivanka Trump and Kushner are senior White House advisers who have played roles in the administration’s handling of the outbreak. The two traveled with their three children to the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey for a Passover seder last week, The New York Times reported, citing two people familiar with their plans.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

To continue reading, click here.

Before Any Journalist Runs an Article About Anti-Semitism – Look at Covid by the Numbers

How New York hassidic communities have been buffeted by coronavirus

‘We didn’t want to get up in the morning because we didn’t want to hear any more bad news.’


On the streets of Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood (photo credit: SERGE ATTAL/FLASH90)
On the streets of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood
(photo credit: SERGE ATTAL/FLASH90)

The news from the Jewish communities of New York has been fearful and unrelenting. Every day of the last few weeks has brought bitter tidings of more victims of the coronavirus epidemic, more funerals and more sorrow.

The ultra-Orthodox community in the New York City neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Borough Park has been hit especially hard, as have other upstate ultra-Orthodox enclaves, and the large hassidic communities have suffered grievous losses from the contagion.

lthough there are no definitive figures, estimates put the number of dead in the ultra-Orthodox community in New York at as much as 300 people.

As in Israel, parts of the ultra-Orthodox community in New York were slow to adopt the social-distancing regulations issued by state authorities, as were other population groups, because of the huge limitations they posed to religious life.

Three daily prayers services, frequent mikva immersion for women and hassidic men, large families living in close quarters, heavily attended lifecycle events, and other characteristics of ultra-Orthodox life all contributed to the massive outbreak in the community.

And indeed there has been heavy criticism of rabbinic leaders and grand rabbis of hassidic communities who ignored warnings about the danger of the epidemic and refused to shut down their institutions when instructed.

Large weddings and funeral processions in the hassidic community were held even after regulations banning the gathering of numbers of people came into effect, with some incidents taking place as late as April.


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Funeral Procession Gets Attacked in Crown Heights, NY [Video]


This Video Speaks for Itself. 

The WhatsApp text containing this video stated that this occurred in Crown Heights at the corner of Crown Street and Brooklyn Avenue. The NYPD and Shomrim were alleged to have been called to the scene. We cannot tell from the video of this was a mass funeral or simply a close family escort.

This type of tragedy should be unthinkable for everyone involved. We are all victims of a terrible illness, the mismanagement of the entire situation by political leaders and the faithless continuity of large congregations by both influential church leaders and rabbis.

But, when citizen starts attacking citizen, there is a reflection of a whole different level of outrage and hostility.

We should all be outraged. Not at one another but at the political and religious leaders who are quick to blame and slow to accept accountability.

LostMessiah, Donations, Contributions, GoFundMe, no Advertising, Speech?


Dear Readers:

This endeavor was started in an effort to make a difference in the world of our readers. We wanted to keep you apprised of analyses that others might not see, events and circumstances within our world that seem important and general news as it applies to this site.

We have not to date accepted advertising (despite offers) because we did not want to be beholden to anyone, any special interests, any agendas.

To date, we have largely been able to continue with that goal.

That said, Covid-19 has stopped the world. The time-barred lawsuit in which we are involved, one in which we have not received any discovery after almost two years, is like an endless hamster wheel.

With Covid-19 we seem to be an email target for articles that are sent to us daily, some of which are worth a deeper dive and some less so. But time and financial wherewithal make giving attention to even a small percentage of those articles nearly impossible.

In the Freedom of Speech space, we receive numerous emails from people who have been affected by the movement in the United States towards free speech being reserved for those with political clout or significant financial wherewithal.

We are thus asking for financial assistance. The GoFundMe link above and here, is money that goes directly to the attorney representing the Defendant.  To date we have raised $9,524.00 from 101 people. We have far more readers daily.

The Donations to Lost Messiah page link here is money that goes to helping keep this endeavor going and/or the lawsuit. Anything you can do is greatly appreciated.

Alternatively, for the greatest possible anonymity, you can send money directly to Henry Kaufman, attorney for the Defendant by mailing a check below:

Henry R. Kaufman, P.C.
60 East 42nd Street
47th Floor
New York, NY 10165
Phone: (212) 880-0842
Fax: (212) 682-1965


Yours sincerely,


Will Blood Irradiation “The Cure that Time Forgot” Help with Covid-19?

Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation, Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy (Photo-Ocidation) The Cure That Time Forgot

Could Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy Cure Patients of Covid-19 or Reduce Need for Ventilators?

We take no credit for this idea – but it could be, well… one for the ages.

The Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine has listed it as a possible therapy for Covid-19. We are not doctors, though that was an initial dream of one of the bloggers. We have consulted with a few for this article. A few are not convinced that this is a “miracle cure.” And, we have been told that this is not a simple procedure, though it may work in conjunction with other therapies.

The devastation of Covid-19, the ventilator shortage for all but a select few within our society and the overwhelmed hospitals may make an old approach better than a new one. We hand this idea over to our readers who may be doctors or associated with them for their thoughts and concern and even implementation (for which we do not take responsibility).

The idea of using this particular treatment comes to us from a parent whose child is in the process of being treated for another disorder through ultraviolet blood irradiation. He wholeheartedly believes in the approach as well as other non-pharma holistic treatments but that’s by necessity more than anything else. 

To give some historical perspective, “At the turn of the century, Niels Finson was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on UV rays and various skin conditions which showed a success rate of 98% in thousands of cases, mostly lupus vulgaris.” click here.

By the 1940’s and 1950’s this therapy was being used widely by hospitals to treat a number of chronic and acute blood disorders. In and around 1942/1943 it was reported that there were at least 103 different infections that could be treated using this method. It was at the time used to treat common septicemia and other resulting adverse affects of illnesses and surgeries gone wrong. In some regard it was the go-to treatment and and became fully FDA approved.

What happened to this “Cure that time forgot”. Well… We believe…Big Pharma.

But perhaps curing Covid-19 needs an “old-school” approach. So, here we are. Research can be seen below.

Ultraviolet Irradiation of Blood: “The Cure That Time Forgot”?

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Lakewood, NJ – A Covid-19 Hotspot, Corona Carnival Cancelled, CoronaDog Giveaway Set for April 7, 2020, REALLY?


We are asking our readers to go to the bottom of the page and get in touch with law enforcement and government officials. With New Jersey’s Covid-19 numbers rising at an alarmingly high rate, and with a disproportionate number of those infected coming out of Lakewood and other religious communities (of all religions) the lawlessness is costing everyone in life and in a financial future.

Forget about the optics because the anti-Semitism alarm will be sounded for the next 20 years, mark our words, at this rate of religious defiance, Covid-19 will be the watershed point making any bridge for better rations with Orthodox Jewish communities impossible.  

It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a whole lot of villages to raise a petulant group of religious zealots who refuse to accept the law of the land. The religion is irrelevant. The numbers speak for themselves.

CoronaDog Giveaway Scheduled For Tomorrow In Lakewood

Tomorrow voices throughout Lakewood will rise up in unison and announce to the world…“CORONA DOGS, GET YOUR CORONA DOGS HERE!”

With the announced CoronaDog giveaway, suddenly a drive up CoronaCarnival doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after all.

The drive-up CornoaCarnival was planned so that10,000 toy spinners and a log of chocolate could be distributed to children in Lakewood, thankfully the organizer had a change of heart and postponed that event.  Not wanting to be outdone when it comes to incredibly bad ideas, a group of generous donors have declared  “HOLD MY BEER” as they ready distribution of 10,000 free CoronaDog meals tomorrow.  Their hope is that through this Kidush Hashem (kind gesture that is pleasing to God) they will bring blessings to their friend Chaim Aryeh Zev who is currently hospitalized with, you guessed it, coronavirus.


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Lakewood Neighbors, The Unity Project, Rise Up Ocean County – Building Bridges?

Reprinted in its entirety from

If Only We Better Understood The Orthodox Jewish Faith…sigh.

April 4, 2020

In the last three weeks the Asbury Park Press has written FIFTY articles about Lakewood, most having a somewhat favorable if not distorted slant.  THere are links at the end of this post to all fifty.  At a time that the optics for Lakewood are HORRIBLE (weddings, funerals, school buses, engagement parties) leave it to the Asbury Park Press to come to the rescue.  Kinda, sorta.

Recently the first Jackson Township Multicultural Committee meeting took place and by all accounts it is a regurgitation of Lakewood Neighbors, One Ocean County and our personal favorite, the Unity Project, sponsored of course by…drumroll….The Asbury Park Press.

Last September Randy Bergmann, the head of the Asbury Park Press Unity Project, wrote a piece for the Asbury Park Press describing The Unity Project and posing some questions.  On our Facebook page we wrote a rubuttal.

In his piece he would have you believe that if only gentiles would better understand orthodox Jews, peace and harmony would rule the land. Following his reasoning, he would also have you believe that Stevie Wonder is best suited to drive a car, in Lakewood at 3pm.

That might explain why the Unity Project is designed exclusively to vomit out orthodox Jewish propaganda and why it is doomed to fail. You can read his piece in its’ entirety here:…/nj-lakewood-orthodox-jews…/3780450002/ . For an indication of the perspective that the unity project approaches things from, please note in the link the words ANTI-SEMITISM, JACKSON AND TOMS RIVER.

Anyhow, in his most recent missive he asks a series of questions, we are happy to provide the answers for him right here and right now:


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