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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 14, 2020 11:46 AM
From: Representative Russ Diamond
To: All House members
Subject: Removal or Resignation of Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine
In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution that urges for the immediate removal or resignation of The Secretary of the Department of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

In the event of a health crisis, The Pennsylvania Department of Health is responsible in carrying out appropriate control measures to limit the spread of disease to protect all Pennsylvanians. From the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine has failed in fulfilling this duty, especially among our senior and older adult population. To date 68% of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 related deaths have occurred in long term care facilities.

The Department of Health under Secretary Levine halted routine inspections (including life safety and emergency preparedness elements) of long term care facilities. Secretary Levine also instituted guidance for nursing facilities to admit and re-admit patients who were positive for COVID-19. By doing so Dr. Levine has put our most vulnerable populations at even greater risk

With oversight authority and intimate knowledge of the circumstances in nursing homes and similar facilities across the Commonwealth, Secretary Levine removed her elderly mother from a personal care home and checked her into a safe and comfortable hotel. Despite moving her own mother, Secretary Levine did not make the residents of this Commonwealth immediately aware of her actions nor the underlying reasons, therefore withholding information and transparency which could have benefited the citizens of this Commonwealth and their loved ones, and potentially could have saved lives.
This extreme lack of transparency and trust in the Department of Health’s own guidelines, facilities, and brave health care workers not only sends a message of failure, but proves the Secretary’s ineptitude in fulfilling the constitutional duties as Secretary of Health in protecting all Pennsylvanians, especially the most vulnerable populations. This resolution therefore urges the immediate removal or resignation of The Secretary of the Department of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

Please join me in supporting this resolution.

View Attachment

Introduced as HR879