In The Dugout: Explosive Nursing Home & Covid-19 Claims by RI DOH Whistleblower
CLAIM: RI DOH Failed in Oversight of Congregate Care Homes
Health Director and Governor Singled-Out
Providence, RI – We may now know why Ocean State seniors in state-supervised nursing homes have suffered such severe and deadly consequences from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Claiming she was retaliated against and demoted for raising alarms about negligent oversight of nursing homes, a RI Department of Health (DOH) worker and whistle-blower makes explosive new allegations in an interview on In The Dugout with Mike Stenhouse, a new video series by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity.
The alarming allegations in the detailed interview range from the RI Department of Health’s gross failure to provide adequate oversight over our state’s nursing homes and other congregate care centers; to the massive backlog of unprocessed and un-investigated complaints; and to cover-up actions by certain officials.
Even more relevant to current affairs, Lisa Camuso, who filed a whistle-blower lawsuit in 2017, claims this pattern of ineptitude and neglect, at facilities and at the RI DOH, led to the unusually high rate of deaths emanating from nursing homes as a result of this Coronavirus.
Camuso, who for years has attempted to raise public awareness about what she believes is a major failure of government, was ignored by elected officials and by members of the media.
Among the topics covered in the 52-minute episode, which looked closely at seven examples of content from actual DOH reports and emails – among the hundreds of pieces of evidence (including audio and video files) that she has compiled over the years – Camuso claims:
- An enormous backlog of complaints from nursing homes, numbering about 6000, that were never investigated or even processed, many with fraudulently changed dates and others closed without any investigation.
- Covid-19 positive residents were roomed non-positive residents, while infected staff were allowed to continue to work at the facilities
- Covid-19 nursing-home residents suffered from gross neglect – bed sores, malnutrition, and dehydration; collapsed from illegal drug overdoses; were left to die alone and without treatment; while others were refused hospital care by nursing home staff, fearful that clear evidence of their neglect might be discovered and reported
- Family members, suspicious of neglect but locked-down from visiting their loved ones, were denied evidentiary photos or other information from facility staff
At the end of the interview, Camuso squarely places blame on RI DOH Director, Nicole Alexander-Scott, for years of inaction to properly investigate these kinds of serious complaints about the care of our state’s most vulnerable population. She also believes that Governor Raimondo was regularly briefed on this situation and took no apparent corrective steps.
Camuso said that it is a “must” that General Assembly oversight committees should conduct their own investigation into the lack of proper oversight and investigation by the RI DOH. She said she would gladly provide testimony at any hearings.
This interview and other In The Dugout interviews can be found on the Center’s website, RIFreedom.org/in-the-