The Case Against Rachel Levine – The Incompetent Political Hire Who Shut Down Pennsylvania and Sent COVID Patients into Nursing Homes, Resulting in a Record High Death Toll
While Gov. Tom Wolf and four other Democratic governors are under the spotlight in the U.S. Congress this week over their forcing nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients – a move that resulted in the vast majority of COVID deaths in Pennsylvania – a closer look at the architect of Wolf’s public health policy response is warranted.
Even as Wolf is facing articles of impeachment co-signed by 25 members of the state House of Representatives, little attention has been paid to his unqualified pick to head the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the transgender Dr. Rachel Levine.
The toll of Wolf and Levine’s disastrous policies are evident. Nursing home residents make up just 0.6% of the U.S. population, but they accounted for 68% of COVID deaths in Pennsylvania, compared to 42% of COVID death nationwide.
Between Jan. 1 and May 31, there were 3,225 transfers from hospitals to nursing homes in the Keystone State.
All of this came on the orders of Wolf and Levine.
“The decision of several governors to ignore federal protocols and instead mandate COVID positive patients be forced back to their nursing homes ended up being a death sentence for tens of thousands of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens,” U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise said.
Levine has tried to avoid responsibility and blame CDC guidance.
“A number of things are important to remember,” Levine told reporters recently. “That was federal (CDC) guidance; the same guidance almost all other states have followed including Pennsylvania. For a vast majority of those patients, they contracted the COVID-19 in the facility. Because they got sicker, they were transferred to the hospital. And then when they were better, they were transferred back to their home, which is the facility.
Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, said that’s not true at all. The guidance does not, in fact, require nursing homes to accept all admissions.
“Mandating discharges for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results from the hospital to nursing homes puts lives in danger and risks the safety of staff and residents, especially if those nursing homes do not have access to adequate personal protective equipment, testing or the additional supplies necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus.”
It’s notable that during this time, when COVID was sweeping through nursing homes and elder care facilities like a scythe, Levine secretly removed her mother from an assisted living facility and placed her in a luxury hotel.
Levine’s mismanagement and reliance on flawed data and modeling has created a blight on Pennsylvania’s public health.
So who exactly is Levine?
Born Richard Levine to a Jewish family in Boston and now referred to as Rachel Levine, Levine was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf and, disappointingly for conservatives, confirmed by the Republican-controlled state senate in 2017.
Levine is an obese transgender former pediatric psychiatrist who – ironically enough – specialized in eating disorders and body image problems.
Levine has no public health policy experience. Rather she was a political appointee widely lauded at the time of her appointment for being transgender, and little else.
Levine was praised in political circles for her identity and for having politically approved – extremist liberal – opinions on homosexuality, abortion and other sexual deviations.
Levine was among those who opposed a 2016 bill that would have restricted abortion for women who were five months or more pregnant. The bill was likewise opposed by pro-abortion zealots like Planned Parenthood.
Levine has likewise made news for being a staunch ally for pro-deviant causes.
“I am very proud to have served on the board of Equality PA with Dr. Levine. She is an excellent physician and we look forward to her tenure as the Physician General of Pennsylvania,” said Jessica Rothchild, President of Equality PA, a sodomy advocacy and compliance monitoring agency, at the time of the 2017 confirmation.
Prior to the COVID outbreak, Levine’s two-plus year tenure as Secretary of Health was largely marked by extremist political activities in support of sodomy rights, abortion and homosexual education, rather than anything health related.
Before Levine’s decision to become a transgender, the Boston-native was married to a woman and fathered two children.
After moving from Manhattan to central Pennsylvania in 1993, Levine – still identifying as a man – joined the staff at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
Levine is largely preoccupied by her identity as a transgender and what it means for others who deviate from the healthy norm of heterosexuality.
Speaking to Pennsylvania newspaper The Patriot-News about how “meaningful” her nomination is, Levine, “I think [being trans] has helped me in terms of the LGBT community in terms of understanding what all the issues are. And I think I’ve been able to serve as a mentor and role model to LGBT individuals at the medical center as well as in the community.”
Despite heavy coverage of Levine and her deviant agenda in metropolitan state and national gay-advocate media, little about Levine has been covered in regional and local Pennsylvania media – as if the very extremist and deviant aspects of her life and politics that is celebrated among cosmopolitans is best kept hidden from normal Pennsylvanians.
She made one big splash in 2017 speaking out against President Trump’s ban on transsexuals serving in the military, through it remains a mystery what that has to do with Pennsylvania public health policy.
Levine’s elevation to a position she wasn’t qualified for has been a political and policy disaster throughout the COVID era.
From the start, Levine failed to acknowledge the full limitations of COVID-19 data and yet created policies that resulted in an unnecessary statewide lockdown.
She manipulated what numbers mean, what they don’t, and when and why they might change, based on the political needs of the governor’s office.
On several occasions, she published data without vetting, secretly edited information, and published contradictory information.
Levine’s appointment was clearly one of two ploys by Wolf’s administration, or possibly a combination of both.
In the first ploy, it was an attempt by the progressive wing of the Democratic power structure to normalize transgenderism by grooming one for higher public office later by getting Levine experience in what would, in normal times, be a public office that doesn’t get much time in the public.
Alternately it was an attempt by Wolf to shore up his progressive credentials and get additional enthusiasm from the LGBTQ wing of the Democrat party.
In either case, Levine was never meant to be the face of the Wolf administration, much less in the public spotlight daily with reports on followed closely by the general public throughout Pennsylvania.
Regardless, appointing an unqualified transgender has been, quite literally, a fatal mistake for Pennsylvanians. And it is not just because of the decision to force Pennsylvania nursing homes to accept COVID patients.
Pennsylvania had a plan to protect its nursing homes that was robust and aggressive.
In mid-March, before the coronavirus had widely taken hold across the state, emergency response officials drafted a three-page blueprint for quick strike teams of medical professionals that would respond to facilities as soon as a few positive cases were confirmed.
The teams — made of epidemiologists, nurses, emergency management personnel, and medical experts — would show up at a facility within six hours of a call for help, according to internal documents obtained by Spotlight PA. Within two hours, they would complete an assessment of the facility’s needs and create a plan to address them.
The teams would train nursing home staff on infection prevention protocols, provide personal protective equipment, help identify secluded quarantine areas, gather information for visitor and staff contact tracing, confirm a staffing plan, and more, according to the documents.
The quick response plan was circulated within the health department, with emails showing staff nurses and others were asked to volunteer. In the third week of March, it was shared with providers, said Zachary Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, which represents more than 400 long-term care facilities.
But the plan was never fully implemented or activated by Levine, and a similar — though far more limited — effort wasn’t activated until mid-April, long after major outbreaks had already taken hold.
Levine’s role in dictating policy that Wolf enacted has put the state on a lockdown that is not supported by the science. In fact, the studies Levine relied on have been proven to be fatally flawed.
The support for the lockdown was based on modeling. Not only has such modelling been extravagantly wrong before in predicting the course of viral epidemics, but it says nothing about anything else. In this case, it has been fouled up from the start by poor data and flawed assumptions. The data on virulence was hugely biased in favor of severe cases. There was an assumption that 80 percent of the population would rapidly catch the disease, when in fact 15 percent seems nearer the mark.
We were told that the health care experts say that stay-at-home orders and lockdowns were the best solution. According to experts at our own University of Pittsburgh Medical Center say that isn’t the case at all.
Pennsylvanians, Lancaster Countians, the young and especially our senior citizens deserved better than this.
It’s time for the incompetent, hypocritical Levine and her transgender, pro-homosexual political agenda to go.