HARRISBURG – During Thursday’s House Appropriations Committee Budget Hearing with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam refused to say whether or not the administration’s order putting COVID-19-positive patients back in nursing homes from hospitals was a mistake and could not provide an explanation as to why the department expanded Phase 1A vaccination eligibility when it knew it did not have the supply to accommodate the expansion.
In a line of questioning from Rep. Natalie Mihalek (R-Allegheny) Acting Sec. Beam repeatedly made excuses for the nursing order, including referring to non-binding federal guidance, but refused to admit it was a mistake despite roughly half of all Pennsylvania COVID-19 deaths occurring in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Later, in responding to questions from Rep. Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks) Acting Secretary Beam could not provide an explanation as to why the department adhered to federal guidelines expanding Phase 1A of vaccinations when they knew there would not be enough supply to accommodate the new eligibilities.
Acting Sec. Beam and the Department of Health will continue to answer questions from the House Appropriations Committee throughout the day on Thursday.
Live hearing footage can be seen at www.pahousegop.com/livestreams
House Republican Caucus
Pennsylvania House of Representatives