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Archive for July 26th, 2021

GLOw

This George P fella can’t run a state agency. He botched the Hurricane Harvey fund distribution and now he let veterans die during the pandemic.  Here is from an excellent investigative piece by the Chron’s Jay Root and the Trib’s Shannon Najmabadi and Carla Astudillo:  

Mary Kay Dieterich was encouraged last year when Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush promised to shake up the management of the El Paso nursing home where her father died of COVID-19. 

She knew it wouldn’t bring Eugene Forti, a World War II veteran, back to life. But as the top elected official in charge of all nine of the state’s nursing homes catering to veterans in Texas, Bush certainly had the power to hold the private management company accountable for what Dieterich saw as a botched response to the pandemic. 

Yet, despite telling the for-profit operator of the Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home that he was “deeply concerned” about the care it was providing in El Paso, Bush’s promised shake-up, delivered to the local news outlet El Paso Matters, never came — even as COVID deaths soared at the facility. 

More than a quarter of its infected residents died, nearly double the average 13% death rate across El Paso County’s 21 nursing homes. 

And it’s not the only one. 

Nursing homes, which care for people who are already medically vulnerable, were ravaged by the pandemic. But Texas’ state-run veterans homes often were the deadliest places to be. 

The nine state homes had more than double the death rate among COVID-19-infected residents compared to other nursing homes in the state, according to a Texas Tribune-Houston Chronicle analysis of state data from the pandemic’s start until June 2021. 

Three of the state’s veterans homes — including Ambrosio Guillen in El Paso — had the highest death rate among all nursing homes in their county. Seven had a fatality rate of 25% or more, far higher than the statewide average of 11% across Texas nursing homes. 

All told, nearly 570 residents at the veterans homes tested positive for COVID-19 in Texas and nearly a quarter of them, 134, died. 

Veterans home residents are typically male and older than people in other nursing homes, and many have chronic conditions that can make them more susceptible to severe infection, Bush’s agency and experts said. The homes are often larger facilities, which studies have shown were at greater risk of outbreaks. 

But Texas’ nine veterans homes also are among about 23% nationwide that are managed by private contractors rather than the state, which residents’ advocates and experts said could expose them to cost-cutting by for-profits. 

After the Tribune-Chronicle findings were shared with Bush’s office two weeks ago, he vowed to take action to improve care — by not renewing the operators’ contracts and starting over from scratch. 

Here is the entire article that was on the front page of yesterday’s Chron: Texas veterans homes overseen by George P. Bush were often the deadliest places to be during COVID pandemic (houstonchronicle.com). 

That P fella is a disgusting piece of you know what. 

Today’s Chron front page headlines are about the COVID variant on the rise.  Hospitals are filling up.  Parents are worried about sending their children to school next month.  Mask up, folks. 

After 100 games, the team is 61-39 with a 5 ½ game lead in the AL West.  We begin an eight-game West Coast roadie today against the Mariners. Then we visit the Giants and the whiny Dodgers.   

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