Lieu Joins SoCal Congressmembers to Demand Investigation of Kei-Ai L.A. COVID-19 Deaths

Rafu Shimpo, 5/2/2023

Residents from the Sawtelle District in West L.A. heard testimony on April 23 from family members and experts about the evictions of seniors at Sakura Intermediate Care Facility and the COVID-19 deaths at Kei-Ai Los Angeles.

Both are owned by for-profit resort developers, Pacifica Co., who purchased the former nonprofit Keiro Nursing Homes, former icons of the Japanese American community.

Three members of Congress, Reps. Judy Chu, Maxine Waters and Jimmy Gomez, are currently demanding a thorough investigation due to the high number of COVID deaths at the 300-bed skilled nursing facility in Lincoln Heights.

Rep. Lieu was livestreamed upon returning from Washington, D.C. and stated:

“In 2015, I was very concerned to learn that the Keiro Senior Health sold its Japanese American nursing homes to a for-profit company without any public hearings. So I joined a letter with then [state] Attorney General Kamala Harris, now Mayor Karen Bass, [then Rep.] Xavier Beccera and 13 other other members of Congress expressing the concern that there was a lack of transparency and a lack of public input, and as a result the attorney general put conditions on the sale and created a community advisory board to represent the interest of patients and to help maintain standards and to make sure that the facilities continued to be safe culturally centered places for Japanese American seniors.

“Unfortunately, COVID then hit and we saw, in my view, some of these conditions were not followed. The place was not safe.

“We saw 115 deaths from December 2020 to January 2021. It is pretty troubling to see those statistics that are beyond the norm. I support Congresswoman Judy Chu’s call for a thorough investigation.

“I also urge the law enforcement agencies who have jurisdiction over this to also look to see if there was any criminality.”

CONTINUE READING: Representative Ted Lieu

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