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Local Republicans Call For Investigation Of Nursing Home Death Count While Wolf Disputes Allegations

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Republican members of Congress are questioning whether Gov. Tom Wolf followed New York Governor Cuomo's alleged undercounting of nursing home coronavirus-related deaths; KDKA's Jon Delano reports.

Video Transcript

- Governor Tom Wolf says 100% of skilled nursing home patients have received their first vaccinations if they wanted it. But as Jon Delano reports, some local congressmen have questions about Governor Wolf that are calling for him to come clean.

JON DELANO: All four local Republican congressmen sent this letter to Attorney General John Shapiro, asking if he's investigating Governor Wolf undercounted nursing home deaths here, as is alleged to have happened in New York.

GUY RESCHENTHALER: So I simply want to know if AG Shapiro is looking into whether or not Governor Wolf, like Governor Cuomo, is deflating the statistics and hiding the numbers in Pennsylvania.

JON DELANO: The charge is that nursing home patients who are transferred to hospitals and die there are not recorded as nursing home deaths, even though that's where they contracted COVID. Do you have any reason to believe that Governor Wolf is doing that?

GUY RESCHENTHALER: The fact that Governor Cuomo has done it, and the fact that Governor Wolf has basically mimicked Governor Cuomo with the handling, I should say mishandling of this pandemic, makes me suspicious. But at the end of the day, we should all want transparency. Governor Wolf should be very open.

TOM WOLF: This [? comment, ?] this is a democracy. And we need to be transparent and open. And we can all benefit from that. We can be better because we're open and transparent.

JON DELANO: In a letter back to the Republicans, Shapiro said his office examines criminal matters, and the question of data collection should be directed to the State Inspector General. Wolfe says he's open to that.

TOM WOLF: I think we're doing a pretty good job, but we're always looking for ways to improve. And that really requires that we allow people to come in and take a look at what we're doing.

JON DELANO: In a statement just received from the governor's office, they call claims of misreporting baseless, and accuse the Republicans of a significant lack of understanding of the reporting system. Quote, Pennsylvania has never reported long term care facility resident deaths as a death in the hospital, unquote. Jon Delano, KDKA News.