HARRISBURG – House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) today announced that he has formally referred an investigation of the Wolf administration’s handling of nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic to the House Government Oversight Committee.
The pending investigation was first announced on March 1, 2021.
“While we are hopeful that an end to this pandemic may be in sight, we cannot stop asking questions about the government’s role in containing the spread of the virus. More than 12,700 Pennsylvanians died in nursing homes—over half of Pennsylvania’s virus-related deaths—and, to date, families across the Commonwealth have not received answers as to why and whether or not government orders contributed to the spread of the virus in these facilities. Even a year after the pandemic began, data reported about deaths in Pennsylvania’s nursing homes remains incomplete and, in some cases, contradictory,” Benninghoff said.
“This non-partisan investigation should focus on getting answers and producing results. Political maneuvering or obstruction should not interfere with finally answering the questions of so many Pennsylvania families whose vulnerable loved ones have been especially devastated by this virus.”
According to Rule 45(A) of the Pennsylvania House Rules, the Pennsylvania House Majority Leader can refer investigations to the House Government Oversight Committee. The House Government Oversight Committee is comprised of five Republicans and four Democrats and has subpoena power to compel documents and witnesses.
On February, 23, 2021, Gov. Wolf said he would welcome a review of his administration’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes, saying: “I want to be as transparent and open [as possible]. If there is something we can learn from anybody taking a look at what we’re doing, including the press, we’d welcome that.”
On March 1, 2021, House Democrats said they will be participating in this investigation, saying: “House Democrats will work with the bipartisan oversight committee to review what happened in 2020. It’s important not only to identify any missteps but also to highlight the many things that were done right. This fact-finding process will be guided by the truth and not by any false claims.”