Governor Andrew Cuomo’s March 25th nursing home scandal has been the main reason why his state has had more coroanvirus deaths per capita than every other state in the union except for New Jersey (which also adopted a similar policy). If New York were its own country, it would have more coronavirus deaths per capita than any country in the world.
Cuomo has previously blamed CDC guidance for the disastrous policy, claiming that all he did was follow their guidance. The CDC’s guidance cited two cited two key factors to determine if a patient with coronavirus should be discharged to a nursing some – if the patient is medically ready for the discharge, and if the nursing home can safely care for an infected patient by implementing all recommended protocols to stop spread of the virus. The nursing home order says nothing about making sure a home can care for a patient before making an admissions decision, so this excuse is bunk.
And now Cuomo appears to be cycling through the stages of grief in reverse, reverting from bargaining to denial. In an interview to the Finger Lakes News Radio, Cuomo argued that his nursing home policy had nothing to do with nursing home deaths. “That’s not why they lost a loved one. The premise of your question is just factually wrong,” Cuomo said to an inquiring host. “People who were lost in nursing homes were lost because that’s where the virus preys.”
So in Cuomo’s world, the coronavirus has a conscience and has chosen nursing homes as their target (but presumably has sworn off infecting Black Lives Matter protests).
The entire basis for his nursing home order was that space needed to be opened up in hospitals to prevent overcrowding. Cuomo, apparently upping ante on how much B.S. he can spew, simply denies that ever occurred. “And we never needed nursing homes, because we always had hospital beds. So it just never happened in New York, where we said to a nursing home ‘we need you to take this person and they’re COVID positive.’ We had extra beds” he claimed. He then denied that nursing homes ever took a person who tested positive for coronavirus.
Over six-thousand people who contracted coronavirus were sent to nursing homes.
Contradicting Cuomo is the second sentence of the nursing home order, which reads “There is an urgent need to expand hospital capacity in New York State to be able to meet the demand for patients with COVID-19 requiring acute care.” The order also said all nursing homes “must comply with the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals to” nursing homes, and New York was the only state that barred testing of patients discharged to them.
Roughly 6,600 deaths have been recorded in New York’s nursing homes, but those statistics don’t include those who caught coronavirus in a nursing home then later died in a hospital. The real number is likely around 11,000. The Republican County Executive of Rensselaer County rightly saw Cuomo’s order as absurd and defied it. The only nursing home run by the county, Van Renssealaer Manor, saw a total of zero coronavirus deaths.
Cuomo has previously attempted to assure the public that there’s no need for an independent inquiry into his nursing home policy. Now he’s trying to pretend there was no nursing home policy at all to inquire about.