The Allure of a 2015 Guardianship and a Burial in the Wrong Cemetery, Excuses and Covid-19

Comedian Elayne Boosler visited her cousin Dorothea Buschell in Brooklyn’s Hamilton Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in August 2018.
Comedian Elayne Boosler visited her cousin Dorothea Buschell in Brooklyn’s Hamilton Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in August 2018.
Photo: Courtesy of Elayne Boosler

Dear Reader:

The following story, one partially told on Facebook and to The City by comedian Elayne Boosler, is a developing story and one we will cover in depth. When we started this blog in 2016 one of our goals was to draw attention to the deplorable treatment of the elderly and most vulnerable at the hands of nursing home owners and managers. Our intent was to uncover the depth of the depravity of some owners and managers of many of the world’s nursing homes, particularly those in New York and New Jersey, who choose profit over care, bottom lines over human life and lined pockets over dignity.

There can be no greater example of that choice than the story of Elayne Boosler’s elderly Jewish cousin who died in the care of an Allure nursing home, which had in 2015 obtained custodianship over Boosler’s cousin, despite the existence of a living relative. Ms. Boosler’s story is shocking insofar as her cousin was not only denied a dignified death but a dignified burial. While Covid-19 may have played a role in the absurdity of the story that follows, it does not tell the whole story and cannot be used to mitigate the responsibility of the owners/managers of the nursing home that not only deprived Ms. Boosler’s cousin of her family, but of a Jewish burial.

There can really be no greater indignity and no more astonishing tragedy.

When Ms. Boosler’s cousin died (allegedly) of Covid-19, instead of being buried in a Jewish cemetery with all of the Jewish rites and customs which had been provided to the nursing home, she was interred in a Christian cemetery at an astronomical fee.

Boosler’s story is not surprising to those of us who have been following nursing homes in general and Allure in particular. What is surprising, however, is the ease with which nursing homes can obtain guardianship over the elderly in their care.  As legal guardians, these nursing homes and long-term care/rehabilitation facilities have access to finances, decisions, medical choices and ultimately the life and death of those in their care. And most do not do the due diligence required before obtaining guardianship. Or, they simply falsify statements and records. Moreover, it is not even clear that such due diligence is ever required or if there is any oversight, particularly in New York where the systems in place have run amok.

Once guardianship is obtained whether legitimately or otherwise, as this story suggests, decision-making authority on burials and interment among all of the other life-shattering decisions, rests in the hands of the court-appointed guardians. They are free to throw caution and care to the wind.

The Boosler story, raises questions about New York’s Guardianship Services, which in the Boosler case, remains something of a mystery. We are hoping that some law enforcement agency will take the bull by the horns and look into this case as it is neither unique nor surprising. We are hoping that Boosler’s status as a entertainer will light a fire under those who should be investigating the treatment of the elderly in nursing care and long-term facilities.

There is money to be made in human life and in death and apparently once guardianship of a family member is “signed-over” to a nursing home moral and ethical compasses can shift. The elderly deserve better. 

 

Comedian’s Kin Sent to Wrong Cemetery After Brooklyn Nursing Home Death

Comedian Elayne Boosler says her elderly Jewish cousin, who died last month, inexplicably got saddled with a pricey Christian burial package while in a Brooklyn nursing home.

“Now my beautiful Jewish cousin is clutching rosary beads after a fake funeral that never — couldn’t have — happened because of coronavirus,” Boosler, who grew up in Sheepshead Bay, told THE CITY from her California home.

She noted that her first instinct was to “go for the funny and try not to bleed on my audience, if you will. Also, going for the joke is how I distance myself and my emotions.”

But she confessed she hasn’t slept in days.

“I am horrified at how she must have died,” she said, “at how she was swindled and at how she is now far from her family in a strange grave.”

‘Are You Sitting Down?’

The ordeal began, Boosler recalled, when her cousin Harriet Saltzman phoned her from Florida on April 14 and said, “Are you sitting down? Pull the chair closer to the table in case you fall over.”

Saltzman told her that she had been trying to reach their mutual first cousin Dorothea Buschell at the Hamilton Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to wish her a happy 83rd birthday.

When no one answered in Buschell’s room, Saltzman said she began leaving voicemails at the main number, but no one returned her calls for weeks.

Finally, on April 14, a frazzled staffer who happened to pick up the phone said, “Oh, no one called you yesterday? Uh, she died this morning.”

“And then Harriet said, ‘Why would someone have called yesterday if she died this morning?’,” Boosler said.

Buschell died April 13.

The Hamilton Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was blocking visitors during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Hamilton Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

By the time Saltzman called, Buschell’s body had already been transferred to Forest Green Park cemetery in Morganville, N.J. — not her intended, already-paid-for, family plot in New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale, L.I. She was buried on April 15.

“Because they figured it was the virus that she died from, there was no autopsy,” Saltzman wrote Boosler in an email. “She was double bagged, put into the coffin, doubled bagged again and shipped.”

Saltzman noted that Forest Green “will not be able to dis-inter her for a while because of the pandemic, and they will call me when they are ready to do it.”

The Plot Thickens

In a phone interview with THE CITY, Boosler added, “But wait. There’s more. Much more.”

The saga began in either late 2016 or early 2017, Boosler recounted, after Buschell, an artist who had taught English on U.S. Army bases in Italy for a quarter century, landed in Hamilton Park after a series of mini-strokes.

On April 28, 2017, she was sold an irrevocable $15,000 pre-need funeral plan which she never signed — and which Boosler stressed Buschell never would have consciously agreed to since she already had a family plot.

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Jeffrey Epstein’s Legacy Lives On – The Arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell

Ghislaine Maxwell with Epstein in New York in 2005. Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell last summer.

Jeffrey Epstein Confidante Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges

What to Know

  • Jeffrey Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested Thursday morning in New Hampshire, law enforcement sources say
  • Maxwell will face charges that she conspired with the disgraced financier to sexually abuse underage girls
  • Epstein, a friend to presidents and captains of industry, died by suicide last August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and heiress who became a confidante of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and was later accused of involvement in his alleged sexual crimes, has been arrested by the FBI, two senior law enforcement sources tell News 4 New York.

She was arrested in Bedford, New Hampshire around 8:30 a.m. on charges she conspired with Epstein to sexually abuse minors, and is expected to appear in a federal court later today, the sources say.

The six-count indictment in Manhattan federal court alleges that Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14 years old, going back as far as 1994.

“In some instances, Maxwell was present for and participated in the sexual abuse of minor victims,” the indictment says.

The daughter of media baron Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine was a one-time girlfriend of Epstein’s and was at the high-flying investor’s side for decades.

But she was also alleged to have helped Epstein groom teen girls for sex with the rich and powerful. One of those teens, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, leveled that charge against Maxwell in a 2015 defamation suit, as have a number of other women.

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California Nursing Homes and Raging Covid-19 Infections – Hiding the Truth, no Oversight

Residents of Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center are evacuated in April.
Residents of Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center are evacuated in April after staff refused to show for work amid a COVID-19 outbreak. A day earlier, state health inspectors found no problems at the facility in Riverside.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

As coronavirus raged through nursing homes, inspectors found nothing wrong

In early April, state inspectors completed a survey of Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside as part of a federal effort to make sure nursing homes were protecting elderly residents from the coronavirus.

Their one-page report concluded: “No deficiencies.”

The next day, April 8, a fleet of ambulances lined up outside Magnolia to evacuate all 83 residents after the staff refused to show up for work, terrified of the deadly infection already spreading within the facility.

Similar scenarios played out across California this spring, survey records show. Time and again, inspectors sent to assess nursing homes’ ability to contain the new virus found no deficiencies at facilities that were in the midst of deadly outbreaks or about to endure one.

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PE or Publicly Traded Equity Owned Nursing Facilities, Covid-19 And the Profit in Negligence – No Oversight

Granite Creek Health and Rehabilitation would never require a worker to come to work sick. But they might ask.
Granite Creek Health and Rehabilitation would never require a worker to come to work sick. But they might ask.
Google Maps

Dear Readers:

We will say it once. We can say it 1000 times.

Nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and elder care institutions are not burdened by appropriate oversight. In reality, they largely report to no one. And, with combined ownership on the real estate side and on the management/operations side in the hands of private equity firms and publicly traded companies, the flow of money is endless and nearly untraceable. 

These homes churn owners, in some cases so they can change oversight records, wiping the slate clean when abuse and neglect results in patient death. They collect money from the government in the form of payments, reimbursements and for some even PPP loans or SBA loans, which should trigger government oversight. But sadly oversight is simply in short supply. 

And alas, with front-facing ownership changes, history gets scrubbed. It is all a shell game; and one that traffics in human life. With Covid-19, these homes can profit from death. 

In many states, the owners of these facilities are largely exempt from liability, even in the case of gross negligence – a highly profitable exemption. And the politicians who have collected donations can look the other way as the owners profit and those most vulnerable die. Humanity be damned.  

State Investigating a Nursing Home That Allegedly Kept COVID-Positive Workers on the Job

A nursing assistant at a Prescott nursing home says she was told to continue to work with patients after informing her supervisor that she was symptomatic for COVID-19 — and also after she later tested positive for the disease.

Now, the state is investigating.

The facility, Granite Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center in Prescott, a skilled-nursing facility with more than 100 long-term residents and rehab patients from the local hospital, had been spared until early June from the pandemic. But as certified nursing assistant at the facility told Phoenix New Times, things spiraled out of control quickly after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus on June 9.

New Times is not disclosing the name of the worker based on her request for anonymity. Sick with COVID-19 and still trying to beat back the virus in home quarantine, she doesn’t want to return to Granite Creek and doesn’t want publicity.

“The state surveyor told me that they’re keeping my identity secret and calling me by the code name ‘Hero Worker’ LOL,” she wrote in an email on Tuesday. “I am still concerned that it being known that I reported this could affect my ability to find another job once I’m recovered.”

Mike Rasmussen, the facility’s administrator, confirmed on Tuesday that 16 staff members and 25 residents at Granite Creek have tested positive. He acknowledged in an email that the company would allow a COVID-positive staff member to come to work, and might ask but would not require that a sick staff member come to work.

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OHEL – Allegations the Agency Ignored Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse

NYC foster care agency ignored child’s abuse: suit

 

A Brooklyn foster care agency prioritized placing Jewish kids into Orthodox Jewish homes over safety, resulting in a girl’s sexual abuse at the hands of a deviant dad, a new lawsuit charges.

The alleged victim, who used the pseudonym Jane Doe in court papers, says she was abused in the 1980s while in the care of OHEL Children’s Home and Family and Services. The agency allegedly ignored obvious warning signs that emerged when she was around 7, including her loss of weight and an extreme change in behavior.

“OHEL’s case workers didn’t just fail to protect me. They falsely branded me a liar. They told me never to talk about being abused because no family will let a liar into their home,” the woman, who is now in her 40s, said in a statement.

The woman immigrated to the U.S. from the Soviet Union when she was 3 with her mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder. In less than two years she was placed in the care of OHEL, which the suit charges puts “undue emphasis” on connecting biologically Jewish children with Orthodox Jewish foster homes.

OHEL CEO David Mandel said the company trains staff on how to respond to allegations of sexual abuse and thoroughly vets prospective foster parents.

“The complaint in this case was filed today. It involves alleged conduct from 35-40 years ago. As stated above, OHEL takes any such allegations seriously,” Mandel said in a statement.

The agency placed the girl in the Elizabeth, N.J. home of Moshe Aharon Jacobs, who lived with his wife and two daughters, the suit states. Jacobs allegedly violently sexually assaulted the girl while in his care.

Jacobs now lives in Israel, according to the suit. He could not be reached. The alleged victim claims she told an OHEL case worker she’d been repeatedly sexually abused and could not sit comfortably. The worker agreed to transfer her out of the house — but only because “she had lied” and could no longer live in the home, the suit states. The “liar” label followed her while she remained in OHEL’s care, the suit states.

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Those Who Allow the Practice of Metziza’ B’Peh are Accountable for the Suffering of Herpes Infected Infants

Charedi Infant In Critical Condition After Contracting Herpes At His Bris

 

A three-week-old infant, born to a Charedi family in Haifa, was brought to the Bnei Zion medical center in Haifa in serious condition. It is believed that the infant contracted the Herpes virus during his Bris Milah. The infection caused serious contamination in the young boy’s brain that caused seizures. Lab results showed that the infant was suffering from herpes.

Head of the Pediatrics Department in Bnei Zion, Professor Yitzchak Serugo said: “The infant has been hospitalized in serious condition. It appears that he has a brain infection that is causing prolonged seizures and a serious infection of his skin.”

The baby was rushed to the hospital by his parents who noticed the infection a number of days after his bris. During his time in the pediatrics department, the herpes virus was discovered in his spinal fluid, his brain, and on the lesions on his skin. The infant seized for the first three days after being hospitalized in spite of receiving anti-seizure medication.

According to Professor Serugo, the infant is receiving anti-viral treatment to remove the virus from his brain but will have to undergo continuing treatments for the next six months in order to eradicate the disease completely.

To continue reading click here.Hared

Predatory Lenders, MCA Lenders, Only One Person Wins, the Lender…. The AG is Catching On

letitia james
ATTORNEY GENERAL LETITIA JAMES IS SUING A GROUP OF MERCHANT CASH ADVANCE COMPANIES FOR CHARGING ILLEGALLY HIGH INTEREST

Dear Reader:

We have written about predatory lenders many times. They are one of several pet peeves of ours. Most are merciless, without any compassion and a mantra: “it’s all about money not mizvas [good deeds].” We hope to see the entire business get tanked. In our opinion, the merchant cash advance business is nothing more than vultures eating the carcasses of poor and unsuspecting victims, sometimes threatening their families and often destroying their lives and others. It is a scheme of epic proportions, with intertwined credit card swiping businesses, investment businesses, brokers, lawyers and collection agents.

There is nothing worse than the financial havoc they wreak, all under the guise of quick and easy loans. They destroy small businesses but make a huge fortune in the process.

And, behind the scenes, the investors in many of the MCA loan companies are interrelated groups of people who hire the same attorneys, use the same brokers, have access to the same personal information of the Borrowers, have a network of go-to persons and politicians, judges and jurists, it is big business. The entire structure is not for the financially faint of heart.

Let’s start by taking you back on a walk down memory lane, our explanation of how the whole scam works.

First, the merchant banks convince a company (Company A) to use their credit card swiping system (thereby giving the merchant bank access to Company A’s receipts and invoices). Then, they share your information with potential “funding groups” all hidden under the same umbrella. Next, Company A has a bad month or two, Covid-19 strikes, who knows? Those behind the scenes at the merchant cash advance company notice that Company A is getting charge backs or business has slowed. In other words, the merchant cash advance company sees that their credit card swiping client is becoming vulnerable to liquidity problems. 

So, the merchant cash advance company sends a broker in to offer assistance, not effectively a loan but a purchase of invoices. In other words, the broker suggests that Company A borrow money against the receipts, selling it as quick and easy cash. It is characterized not as a loan, but as a purchase of receipts, thereby avoiding any and all usury laws, banking laws, regulators and the list goes one. Company A is desperate.

Cash-poor Company A needs the money and a conventional bank loan will not work. The merchant cash advance company offers “low interest” rates (not actually low interest but Merchant A is too cash-strapped to chart the numbers). The merchant cash advance company promises quick money, no credit reports, a few days from application to cash, all fees get tagged to the Loan (increasing the principal amount) but the draw of few out-of-pocket fees are weighed against desperation. So, Company A takes the bait.

What poor Company A does not know is that the fees tagged (or capitalized) to the principal amount increase the loan by about 20% (another 20% for interest purposes). There is a daily or even a weekly draw and there are fees each time a draw is made, directly from the merchant company, increasing payments.

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“Shalom Bayit” Gel… Bnei-Brak Israel – Is this Legal? – A Good Laugh – NOT an Endorsement!

Image may contain: ‎text that says '‎בס"ד בשורה משמחת הגיע כמות מוגבלת של "ג'ל בטעמים" "שלום בית" 100% הצלחה לחיזוק חיי המשפחה "שיפור ביצועים מעולה" יותר יעיל מיותר מהיר משפיע להרבה זמן משלוח דיסקרטי חינם 054-8677230 התכשיר לגברים בלבד‎'‎

Translation:

Arrived – Limited Quantity

of “Flavored Gels”

“Shalom Bayit” – (meaning Peaceful Home)

100% Success

More Useful  Faster

Effective for a Lot of Time

Sent in Discreet Packaging Free

054 – 8677230

Intended For Men Only

NOTE TO READER: THIS IS POSTED BECAUSE IT IS SIMPLY HILARIOUS – NOT AN ENDORSEMENT. IT WAS SEEN IN BNEI BRAK, ISRAEL. NO WAY TO KNOW WHY IT NEEDS TO BE FLAVORED, IF IT IS KOSHER OR WHAT IT IS USED FOR.

WE DO NOT ADVISE FOR OR AGAINST GETTING YOUR “HAPPY HOME GEL.”

Even if Playground Wrongfully Locked, Politicians Should not Be Cutting Gates – Covid-19

Dear Reader:

Given the freedom of protesters to march in NYC, many without masks and without deference to Covid-19 and social distancing, we cannot really understand the decision to weld Brooklyn parks closed. Parents and children within those neighborhoods should be afforded a place to go out and children, a place to play.

Having said that, breaking into them and trespassing on the part of politicians is nothing short of illegal, should not be tolerated and those who had the audacity to cut the chains should be arrested and charged. This is no way to set an example from New York’s respected lawmakers. This is not a form of social peaceful disobedience, it is simply breaking the law.

Worse still, there are many more videos showing a veritable form of F-U to the decision-makers who welded those gates shut, something that also should not be tolerated.

At a time where this entire country is preciously long on lawlessness and defiance, it might be time for our Jewish lawmakers to be setting a good example. This is apparently not such a time.

We do not believe that the gates should have been closed. Instead, rules of social distancing and mask wearing should have been enforced. We recognize the paradigm: if it is not enforced at protests, why should it be enforced in parks? It should be enforced equally.

But, more to the point, perhaps the enforcement of social distancing should come to to someone stepping up and doing the right thing. Only one man in the picture is wearing a mask (beside the paid fence-cutter) which is also unacceptable.

This was a poor example of defiance and one that sets the stage for the entire neighborhood to break the law. It is sad, unfortunate, and those who cut the gate open should be prosecuted as lawbreakers.

Councilman Kalman Yeger, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, Senator Simcha Felder and an unidentified worker cut the lock at a Brooklyn playground.
Councilman Kalman Yeger, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, Senator Simcha Felder and an unidentified worker break the lock at a Brooklyn playground. NY Assembly

A group of Brooklyn politicians representing orthodox Jewish neighborhoods have defied Mayor Bill de Blasio’s coronavirus closure of playgrounds and staged a series of protests this week in which they broke the locks and attempted to open various playgrounds.

That group, which includes State Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, and Councilman Kalman Yeger gathered at Dome Playground in Borough Park and Kolbert Playground in Midwood this morning to break the chains at both places. They were joined by radio host Heshy Tischler, who declared at Kolbert, “Welcome to our park everybody. Come on in. We’re going to open up every single park in the entire city, no matter if you’re Jewish or not.” (City parks have remained open during the coronavirus PAUSE, but playgrounds were closed.)

“The only way you’re getting these chains back Mr. Mayor, is if you’re coming to get me,” Tischler said after they opened up Dome Playground.

“The only way you’re getting these chains back Mr. Mayor, is if you’re coming to get me,” Tischler said after they opened up Dome Playground.
…….

Asked about the playground protests at a press conference Tuesday morning, de Blasio said, “We’re not going to allow people to take the law into their own hands, it just doesn’t work. So people are not allowed to open up a playground that is not yet available to the public. It’s for a reason.”

While the mayor said he was sympathetic to parents dealing with kids who have been cooped up for months because of the coronavirus pandemic, he said there would be no changes in policy with playgrounds until phase two begins. Phase two could start as early as next week (June 22nd), although he cautioned that he thought it would take longer than that.

One reporter pointed out that many children are already playing together out in the streets, so wouldn’t it be safer if they were able to do so in playgrounds? De Blasio stressed that kids should not be playing with other kids who aren’t in their households, and reiterated that the playgrounds would be figured out in phase two. “I’m hopeful we’ll be able to open things up, but we’re not there yet,” he said. “The minute you say okay, let’s open the playgrounds, then a lot of kids come in contact with a lot of other kids, and adults come in contact with other adults, then the disease starts spreading, and that’s what we don’t want, this is the thing that’ll take us backwards.”

Felder, Eichenstein and Yeger released a joint statement attacking the mayor for not opening playgrounds despite their pleas, and vowed to continue cutting locks as long as they had to.

To continue reading click here.

Civil Immunity to Nursing Homes- A Blank Check for Abuse and Neglect, Covid-19

The following is an OPINION from Patricia Barnes at Forbes. We could not agree with the opinion more.

The Folly Of Granting Civil Immunity From Lawsuits To Nursing Homes

Granting broad immunity to nursing homes that failed to put in place reasonable protections for vulnerable residents during the pandemic represents an appalling abuse of the rule of law.

About 20 states already have granted nursing homes immunity from civil lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus pandemic and now the U.S. Congress is poised to do so. What’s the rush?

There has been no serious investigation into how nursing homes performed in the pandemic and there is plenty of reason for concern.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported Friday that 31,782 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19 as of May 31, which is about 33% of the nation’s known coronavirus deaths. The highest number of deaths occurred in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which were among the first to grant civil immunity to nursing homes.

A grant of immunity effectively eliminates civil legal redress for and on behalf of nursing home residents who died due of COVID-19 due to negligence and abuse.

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The Abuse of Nursing Home Patients from the Bottom to the Top – No Oversight, Covid-19

Nursing homes receive defective equipment as part of Trump administration supply initiative

Nursing homes with urgent needs for personal protective equipment say they’re getting gowns that look more like large tarps — with no holes for hands — and surgical masks that are paper-thin as part of the administration’s initiative to bolster supplies for vulnerable populations amid the pandemic.

“It would be funny if the stakes weren’t so high,” a Washington state official told CNN.

In late April, President Donald Trump announced an effort to shore up supplies to nursing homes, whose residents and staff have been among those most at risk of Covid-19. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was at the helm of the effort to send additional shipments to nursing homes.

For weeks, nursing home associations have tried to call attention to the elderly population and the lack of supplies to properly care for them.

“Too often, the only signs of FEMA’s much-hyped promise of PPE shipments—an allotment of gowns, gloves, masks and goggles based on staffing size of the provider—are scattershot delivery with varying amounts of rag-tag supplies,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, an association of nonprofit providers of aging services, in a statement.

“As FEMA’s own deadline for shipment approaches, many nursing homes still don’t know if and when they’re going to receive anything,” she added. Sloan was among the attendees at the event where Trump initially announced the FEMA shipments.

To continue reading, click here.

 

Anti-Semitism and Bigotry, Should Protesters and Party-Goers be Compliant? KJ Wedding and Covid-19

kj wedding

http://www.news12.com/clip/15082073/kiryas-joel-wedding-calls-into-question-states-order-on-large-gatherings-religion

Kiryas Joel wedding calls into question state’s order on large gatherings, religion

A high-profile wedding celebration is calling into question the state’s executive order when it comes to large gatherings and religion.

Thousands of people packed inside the Village of Kiryas Joel’s main synagogue on Garfield Road last Tuesday.

Video of the event given exclusively to News 12 shows people sitting shoulder to shoulder and without masks, on rows of bleachers and on the floor, during a Hasidic custom called a mitzvah dance, following the wedding of Grand Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum’s granddaughter.

Catering halls statewide have not yet reopened, causing many people to postpone their weddings, but Village Administrator Gedalye Szegedin says the event was held at a synagogue and falls under Phase 2 guidelines, allowing houses of worship to reopen.

Szegedin also compared the event’s size to recent protests saying, “Sometimes social gatherings are unavoidable and spontaneous as we’ve seen the multiple large protests all over the streets of the U.S.”

According to the New York state website, whether protesting or at a wedding, New Yorkers are required to wear masks and maintain a 6-foot distance in public.

Places of worship are permitted to reopen – but at 25% occupancy – with all social distancing protocols in place.

Village officials say despite the turnout, the synagogue was at 25% capacity and that masks – whether worn or not – were made available to everyone.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly said it’s up to local officials to enforce the executive order, which can include misdemeanor charges and fines up to $10,000.

County officials say it’s up to state police to investigate and that the governor has been notified of the apparent loopholes.

News 12’s calls to state police have not been returned.

Members of Jewish Community Need to do More – George Floyd and Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

A placard stating "Silence Kills" during a "Black Lives Matter" demonstration, June 7, 2020.

As a Jew of Color, I Need More People in My Community to Speak Up’

Sitting on the stoop of his apartment building in Crown Heights early last week, Yehudah Webster took out his cellphone and began recording himself. Being a community organizer for the group Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, he had been conducting virtual meetings from his apartment all day and stepped out for some much-needed air.

 

To continue reading, click here.

Jewish Newspapers and George Floyd Killing – a Paradigm – We Need to Call Out Our Own Racism…

How should a Jewish newspaper respond to George Floyd’s killing?

The unlawful killing of George Floyd was a tragedy for the black community. But as the trauma of recent days has shown, it psychologically scarred people of all colours. Something snapped in us all. As the Chief Rabbi wrote last week: “This is an essential wake up call for each and every one of us.”

That’s why I was determined to put George Floyd on the front page of last week’s Jewish News, the first non-Jewish news story to lead the newspaper since 9/11. The question was, how? How should a Jewish newspaper contribute to a painful debate on racism that isn’t about antisemitism?

 

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BLM, the Ultra-Orthodox Community and Lip Service, Time for Change from the Inside Out.

Image may contain: 43 people, text and indoor

Dear Readers:

We will be posting on the African American/Persons of Color/Jewish relations issues more. The death of George Floyd and the commentary coming out of the Jewish community, which we believe in large part diminishes that death as “another act of racism” has left us a little unsettled, if nothing else.

For now we are starting with an editorial written on a Facebook Site – The Diary of an OTD Girl. For those who do not know, or are new to this site, OTD means “Off the Derech” or someone who has lost his or her way. This is a reference to someone who has left Orthodoxy. It is an otherwise rather derogatory reference, which is as seen by someone who is still Ultra-Othorodox, as an assumption that someone who has left is somehow lost. We would argue that many who have left have in reality been “found”.

We are in awe of this writer. She has courage beyond the capacity of language. We do not, however, assume that she feels similarly about this page.

We are posting this without permission to re-post and will therefore only post a portion of her editorial. Please see her Facebook page for the rest of her opinion which is listed on Facebook as public. Please be supportive, our one ask. Her words are nothing if not honest and her experience as a former member of the Ultra-Orthodox community is both painful and profound. One can learn a lot from her.

LM

This isn’t going to be an easy post to write or read. And yes there will be people who will call me names for saying what I am. But this is my opinion and I need to speak up.

Before I say what I want I’d like to mention that the community I come from which is hasidic and Ultra Orthodox is incredibly racist. They don’t see black people as the same. They’re looked at as less than. As sub-human. The same way the Palestinians are looked at as sub-human.

The things I heard growing up are about as racist as anything you can imagine. There will be those who will say this isn’t true. But I lived that life and know for a fact that it is absolutely the case. Jews I was brought up with are some of the biggest racists. The inflammatory language used about black people is vile.

Even now as the world sees how unfairly black people are being treated there are Jews who justify it by using terms such as “they’re animals” or “they are tigers escaped from the zoo. What do we do to tigers who escape? We kill them”. And so many more that I cannot possibly write here.

I am in no way condoning the looting or rioting, much of which has been done by white people. What I’m talking about are regular black folk going about their lives and being constantly targeted simply because they’re black.

Over the last couple of weeks as people worldwide have been protesting the murder of a black man in broad daylight by 4 police officers. Feelings and emotions are high and there’s been a lot of anger at the police brutality particularly in America but indeed across the globe.

What has infuriated me are the number of Jews who have somehow made this about them. It’s not about YOU. Guess what? There are things that affect others. It’s not always about Jews.

I’ve had countless conversations, some very heated, where jewish people have tried to say that they understand racism because they have experienced antisemitism. Antisemitism and racism are so different. And to compare the two is ridiculous.

I’ve been accused of being antisemitic for using the Black Lives Matter frame on my Facebook page. Why? Because apparently this movement is antisemitic. I’ve asked several times for proof of this or links to data but as yet haven’t received any. That’s because this is nonsense.

I’ve also been told that jews have suffered more because 6 million Jews were killed in 6 years whereas that hasn’t been the case for black people.

This isn’t about who has suffered more. It’s not a competition. Yes Jews died in WW2. But that hasn’t got anything to do with what’s going on right now in 2020. Police brutality against the black community, for decades, does not affect Jews.

There are reports of a synagogue and kosher shop being targeted. This isn’t okay. But that’s done by bad people who are using this opportunity to be hateful. They are not the people who are protesting because they want long term changes to be made.

Jews can leave their homes and not have to worry that they will be a target by racist police. Black people have to be aware of this ALL the time. Never has there been a police officer who has strangled a Jewish person to death on the streets of America.

The fact that all this has to be said saddens me. Why would we need to discuss this as a black/Jewish issue. It’s not a Jewish issue.

To continue reading click here.

UJA Federation of New York and George Floyd, and What About Calling Out Our Own, Taj Patterson?

Taj Patterson, after suffering an assault by a gang of men in Williamsburg in December 2013.

Dear Readers:

We are posting a notice circulated by UJA Federation of New York’s CEO, Eric S. Goldstein. We have mixed feelings. It is very well-intentioned. We are thankful that a decision was made to postpone the virtual “Celebrate Israel” parade.  However, we take issue with the very fact that it took the brutal, racist and synchronized killing of George Floyd to compel UJA Federation to rise to the challenge of confronting racism against others.

We have posted about the savage beatings of black men in New York’s neighborhoods at the hands of our own, the Shomrim, (a/k/a Williamsburg Safety Patrol) several times.  It is nothing short of police brutality when they don police gear and drive police vehicles. Consider Taj Patterson, a gay black man who was savagely beaten at the hands of Brooklyn’s Shomrim. He case against them was nixed.

Taj Patterson, now 28, was attacked by roughly 20 members of the WSP as he was walking home from a party on December 1, 2013. He sued the WSP, members of the patrol, and the city in the federal and state courts. His argument is that because the city funds the patrol and has given the patrol other benefits, the WSP is effectively an adjunct of the NYPD but its members have never been adequately trained. Given the political power of the Orthodox Jewish community, which established the patrol, the patrol is allowed to operate outside the law with impunity, Patterson has argued.

We failed to get traction from any Jewish organization. We have posted about the corruption within the Shomrim organization for the last nearly 4 and  1/2 years; and organizations like UJA Federation have ignored our pleas for Jews to take some responsibility. Crickets.

We are well aware that Goldstein is in a tough position as he must be sensitive to the needs of a Jewish community he represents in some dignified fashion. Walking a fine line of language and its limitations is not easy. We, however, believe that the death of  George Floyd, is long past the time to take notice of racism when our own Shomrim, not just in New York but in other areas of the country, take legal liberties with black lives. Taj Patterson is but one example.

We offer our condolences to George Floyd’s family for the tragedy that befell him. A country that is drowning in hate will hopefully be transformed by the resulting peaceful protests and discussions like those suggested by Goldstein. We, as Jews, only hope it is not simple lip service.

We recognize that most Jews live a life of white privilege; and we will thus never be able to step into the shoes of a person of color, nor should we be blind to the hypocrisy.

We are at a loss to express how deeply sorry we are for the role we play in our own brand of racism and hope this sparks change.

Shabbat Shalom.

 

 

  UJA Federation Circulated Notice  

 

    Two weeks ago, it would have been hard to imagine anything but Covid-19 dominating the headlines. Yet after 11 days of protests for the horrific killing of George Floyd, protests that have spread to all 50 states and to cities across the globe, we’re reminded of our collective need to deal with a virus of another strain.

George Floyd, an unarmed black man, spent 8 minutes and 46 seconds held down by a police officer while three other officers watched. Pleading for his life, he said, “I can’t breathe.” Those words were a cry for help, and they’ve since become a call to action for all of us.

As a society, we’re still grappling with the consequences of racism and injustice that have cast a long, harsh shadow on this country since its earliest days. Covid-19 has also laid painfully bare the systemic healthcare, housing, and economic inequity that has resulted in communities of color being disproportionately affected by the virus.

There’s no easy solution to the problems we’ve faced for centuries. But there is a way forward, beginning with an internal reckoning we all need to do, each within our own communities. For us, as a first step, we must work to make Jews of Color feel more comfortable at our own communal tables. Well beyond that, our Jewish community must be more present in addressing the state of racial inequality in our country.

Last January, when UJA and our partner JCRC-NY organized the 25,000 person “No Hate. No Fear.” march to fight anti-Semitism, we asked neighbors of all colors and faiths to join us. And they did. We can do no less — our obligation now is to stand with the black community in peaceful protest, calling out racism and bigotry.

This Sunday, JCRC-NY had been planning to hold a virtual Celebrate Israel parade, which has been postponed. Instead, together with JCRC-NY, we’re convening a virtual conversation on June 7 at 1:00 pm with black community leaders on racism in America. You can register here.

We invite you to listen and to learn so that our community can be part of the solution, and take real and long-overdue steps toward ending racial injustice.

Shabbat shalom,

Eric

   

A Secret and Massive Wedding, a Letter Promising Compliance to Governor Cuomo and Hypocrisy – Covid-19

Satmar
Click here to see the photos

במיקום סודי: הרבי מסאטמר חיתן את נכדו הירושלמי • צפו בגלריה

תחילת השבוע נערכה שמחת החתונה של נכד הרבי מהרי”י מסאטמר, בן לבנו הגה”צ רבי חיים צבי טייטלבוים, אב”ד סאטמר בירושלים • מיקום החתונה נשמר בסוד בשל התפשטות נגיף הקורונה, ולחסידים ניתנה הזדמנות להשתתף בשמחה במעמד ‘לחיים’ קצר שנערך בסיום החתונה בביהמ”ד הגדול של החסידות בויליאמסבורג

Google Translation:

Secret Loaction: The Satmar Rebbe married his Jerusalem grandson. 

View the gallery. At the beginningof the week, the wedding of the great-grandson of the Rebbe from the Satmar, son of the High Court Rabbi Chaim Zvi Teitelbaum, Rabbi of the Satmar in Jerusalem was held. The wedding location was kept secret because of the spread of the Coronoa virus and the followers were given the opportunity to participate happily in a short “life” class held at the end. The Wedding was held at the Great Court in Williamsburg [NY].

Dear Readers:

“This is the Satmar Rebbe holding a huge wedding in Williamsburg earlier this week. He also signed a letter to Governor Cuomo asking for further openings and promsing full compliance with safety regulations.

Similar false promises are made by Haredi politicians and Agudah press spokesmen. They are hypocrites and their lies will cost more lives especially of their elderly members.” https://www.facebook.com/yerachmiel.lopin

Norman Lamm and a #MeToo Legacy At Odds with One Another

THIS IS BEING REPOSTED WITH PERMISSION, IN ITS ENTIRETY. WE INVITE YOU TO VISIT THE ORIGINAL SITE AND THE MANY POSTINGS ON THE BLOG OF JOEL AVRUNIN FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL.

Honoring Norman Lamm’s Legacy after #MeToo

Yeshiva University High School / Image capture: May 2011 (C)2020 Google Street View United States

Norman Lamm leaves behind a complicated legacy. For many, Lamm was “an architect of and a spokesman for Modern Orthodoxy” and “the premier expositor of our community’s worldview.” But for the alleged victims of abuse at Yeshiva University High School under his administration, the legacy is more challenging. The Forward reported that Lamm told them that he “dealt with credible allegations of improper behavior against staff by quietly allowing them to leave and find jobs elsewhere,” what plaintiffs against YU have called a “cocoon of callousness,” Marci Hamilton notes

It is sad to see that YU has chosen the Roman Catholic bishops’ approach to the scourge of child sex abuse: Keep as many secrets as possible for as long as possible, and, thereby prolong the suffering of the victims, the believers, and the institution itself

When Cardinal Law died, the New York Times obituary headline read, “Bernard Law, Powerful Cardinal Disgraced by Priest Abuse Scandal, Dies at 86”. Law had been known for his advocacy for civil rights and immigrant justice, but his legacy was defined by his cover-up of abuse. The NY Times called Penn State Coach Joe Paterno’s legacy “complicated”.  Yet the same paper’s obituary for Norman Lamm read, “Norman Lamm, 92, Dies; Rescued Yeshiva U. From Brink of Bankruptcy”, with his cover-up of alleged abuse at his institution mentioned later. Ironically, the civil complaint alleges that publicity of the abuse “would have jeopardized YU’s much publicized $100 million fundraising efforts”, the very thing for which Lamm is lauded in his obituary.

Admirers of Lamm note that he acknowledged his mistakes in his retirement apology. Norman Lamm wrote “I too must do teshuvah”.  The Jewish sage Maimonides taught that a sin between people requires not just confession but also making amends.

Kevin Mulhearn, the lawyer representing the men allegedly abused by teachers at YUHS during the tenure of Norman Lamm notes Lamm’s letter was, “’a positive first step, but only a first step,’ and that the entire university, not just Lamm, must ‘make amends.’”

A few months after Lamm penned his apology letter, his lawyer Joel Cohen was in court arguing that Lamm was not mentally competent to be deposed regarding the abuse he had just apologized for covering up.

There was a heated online debate regarding when Norman Lamm lost his mental faculties, but I prefer to think he was competent to pen his apology and that it was heartfelt. If so, then we have a path forward to honor his legacy, past, present, and future.

To rectify the past, Yeshiva University needs to make amends. They are currently being sued by dozens of plaintiffs for alleged failures to protect children from abuse suffered from the 1950s to 1980s. YU should offer restitution now without dragging these men through the pain of litigation. This new lawsuit was only possible thanks to the New York Child Victims Act (a similar suit was dismissed in 2013 due to the statute of limitations). Halacha (Jewish Law) has no statute of limitations, and YU could have made moral amends back in 2013 without hiding behind New York law. One of the plaintiffs, Jay Goldberg notes,

It is still the culture of Yeshiva University and the culture of modern orthodoxy in Judaism that it is a scar for us to come forward, it is with shame. And it shouldn’t be.

To sanctify the present, Yeshiva University must release the full Sullivan and Cromwell research. Despite promising at the outset of the investigation that they would release the findings, the report they published was short and non-specific, but referred to hours of interviews. Penn State set the example by releasing the full report on allegations of not only abuse, but institutional cover-up and Coach Joe Paterno’s involvement. Shmuel Herzfeld notes the YU summary report refers to those who knew about the allegations in the plural as “members of the administration” and he asks,

Are any of these administrators…still working for Yeshiva [University]?

Hamilton notes, “Without providing full factual disclosure, YU perpetuates the harm to the victims, and keeps secrets that can only hurt it in the future, when other victims of previously unnamed perpetrators come forward, which they surely will.”

To safeguard the future, Yeshiva University needs to set a positive example of child protection for Modern Orthodoxy, in keeping with Lamm’s legacy as a leader of the movement. The anti-harassment policy I can find is not clear on mandated reporting of abuse.  The reporting protocol for sexual assault includes six different reporting pathways, none of them being law enforcement (mandated reporting to law enforcement is at the end of the policy). Hamilton observes, “This hard-to-follow path is guaranteed to have employees throwing up their hands in confusion, or worse, it is likely to result in reports that get lost in the cracks of the bureaucracy”. The Australian Royal Commission on child abuse recommends institutions empower children and the community to participate in the safety process.  In my opinion, the YU faculty handbook and student handbook fail to empower staff and students to know how to speak up when they witness abuse.

Cardinal Bernard Law and Penn State Coach Joe Paterno were not abusers. They were both great men who did wonderful things, but their legacies have forever been sullied by cover-up of child abuse. We need to be aware of the power of our speech, and how glowing praise of Norman Lamm is emotionally impacting those plaintiffs who are still in pain and still suffering, not only from the alleged abuse but from Modern Orthodoxy’s communal indifference to past, present, and future allegations of abuse.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joel Avrunin is a leader in building technical sales teams, with a passion for technology, teambuilding, coaching, and helping people develop their careers. Experiencing the heartache of being a father to a victim of clergy child sex abuse has motivated him to be a vocal proponent of robust child safety and anti-grooming policies in our schools, houses of worship, and summer camps. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and children, where he enjoys long runs down the Atlanta Beltline and hikes in the North Georgia mountains with his family.

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

 

EXCERPTED BELOW:

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)

THE FOLLOWING STORY REALLY TELLS ITSELF. IT’S SIMPLY DOLLARS OVER DECENCY, PROFIT OVER PROPRIETY AND MORAL BANKRUPTCY OVER HUMANITY

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”

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-bria-river-oaks-nursing-home-met-story.html

excerpted:

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.

FASTFORWARD TO 2020, PROPUBLICA REPORTS…

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 | ZoomInfo.com

The Nursing Home Fatality Report – Covid-19

fatalities_nursing_home_acf.5_Page_1

THE COVID-19 NURSING HOME FATALITY REPORT 5.13.20 – SOME THOUGHTS, DOLLARS FOR LIFE…

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 PHOTOS (ABOVE AND BELOW) REVEAL WHAT A STATE WITH DEPLORABLE OVERSIGHT, POLITICALLY CONNECTED NURSING HOME OWNERS, AND MONEY-OVER-LIFE MORAL BANKRUPTCY LOOKS LIKE

The following link is from the State Website: https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/diseases/covid-19/fatalities_nursing_home_acf.pdf

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
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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.

 

ADDITIONAL READING:

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.

Continue reading

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.”

 

Continue reading

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

Dear LM,

Please post this opinion piece.

Anonymous

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 NJ.com, 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

 

REPUBLISHED WITH PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR, Highlights our own…

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.
PHOTO: KELLY WILLIAMS

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]

covid-19-cases-by-zip-04212020-1

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…

VIDEO

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]

ADDITIONAL VIDEO HERE

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

(CNN)

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 
(AN EXCLUSIVE)
THE G-MAN INTERVIEWS: JACK HALPERN
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.

REPRINTED WITHOUT PERMISSION.

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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The Jig May Be Up for Predatory Lenders – Tish James, What About the Brokers, the Credit Card Swipes, etc?

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, BY LETITIA JAMES V….

Dear Reader:

Please, Please, Please be advised if it looks too easy, it’s because it IS TOO EASY.

Merchant Cash Advance Lenders (most not all) have one thing in mind and that is all… money. They traffic in the vulnerability of borrowers who cannot get traditional bank loans. They make accepting cash easy for anyone cash poor. They make paying it back in full next to impossible. 

Once you are in, you are in, ensnared. They trap the most needy into “stacking” these loans (taking one out to pay another or having multiple loans) in order to keep the borrowers in a cycle of financial shortfalls. All the while, you, the borrower are paying their fees: brokers, lawyers, financial institutions. It is a no-lose for the lender and a no-win for the borrower. 

They obtain a “Confession of Judgement” (“COJ”) which borrowers unwittingly sign for the total amount of the debt + fees + collection fees + court costs + legal fees. A default on the loan allows them to obtain the total value of the COJ even if the lender has paid back part if not almost all of the debt. And, Governor Cuomo in New York still has not signed the legislation de-legalizing the use of a COJ. 

Up until now, this was all quite legal. This type of lending represents a loophole in the banking system. It is unregulated as a bank. It is an industry unregulated by the rules governing any form of traditional Lenders. And, up until now, these type of lenders were not governed by usury laws.

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