Governor Cuomo in New York was one of a number of blue state governors whose administrations made the decision to force nursing homes to accept patients infected with the coronavirus in order to free up hospital space for an imaginary influx.
In New York, Governor Cuomo’s Health Department had issued an order on March 25th to “expand hospital capacity” by forcing nursing homes to “comply with the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals to NHs” and warned facilities that, “no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”
It took over 5,000 deaths for Cuomo to partially reverse his grandma-killing policy which had killed 5% of residents of nursing homes in the state. It was a partial reversal, because nursing homes still couldn’t remove infected patients, but hospitals were no longer allowed to discharge infected patients to homes.
Cuomo has argued that no one should be prosecuted for nursing home deaths because they would have died anyway. “Older people… are going to die from this virus,” he argued, dismissing the outrage of the families of the dead. “I don’t think there’s any logical rationale to say that they would be alive today.”
“We’ve tried everything to keep it out of a nursing home, but it’s virtually impossible,” he falsely claimed.
How bad are the numbers? Cuomo and his grandma-killing cronies won’t say. But the AP has done its own tally.
More than 4,500 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York’s already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped amid criticisms it was accelerating the nation’s deadliest outbreaks, according to a count by The Associated Press.
It was only partially scrapped, as noted above.
4,500 is an astronomical and horrifying number that may help explain why the nursing home death toll in New York was so high.
Whatever the full number, nursing home administrators, residents’ advocates and relatives say it has added up to a big and indefensible problem for facilities that even Gov. Andrew Cuomo — the main proponent of the policy — called “the optimum feeding ground for this virus.”
Cuomo, a Democrat, on May 10 reversed the directive, which had been intended to help free up hospital beds for the sickest patients as cases surged. But he continued to defend it this week, saying he didn’t believe it contributed to the more than 5,800 nursing and adult care facility deaths in New York — more than in any other state — and that homes should have spoken up if it was a problem.
“Any nursing home could just say, ‘I can’t handle a COVID person in my facility,’” he said, although the March 25 order didn’t specify how homes could refuse, saying that ”no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the (nursing home) solely based” on confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
No nursing home should have been handling infected people. Period.
Nursing homes are full of the most vulnerable population imaginable. Cuomo is shamelessly trying to shift responsibility for his gerentocidal policy.
Cuomo has deflected criticism over the nursing home directive by saying it stemmed from Trump administration guidance.
As usual, Cuomo is lying. CMS guidance, which was wrong, allowed facilities to take patients under certain conditions. Cuomo’s administration forced facilities to take them. Huge difference.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, there needs to be trials. If Bridgegate, which was about the dumbest thing in the world, could drag members of the neighboring Christie admin into court, killing 5,800 grandmas and grandpas sure as hell should.
The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, known as AMDA, had warned from the beginning that Cuomo’s order admitting infected patients posed a “clear and present danger” to nursing home residents. Now, Jeffrey N. Nichols, who serves on the executive committee of the group, said “the effect of that order was to contribute to 5,000 deaths.”
Nationally, over 35,500 people have died from coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care facilities, about a third of the overall death toll, according to the AP’s running tally.
This is mass murder. And this can and should figure in the election. Cuomo, Whitmer and Newsom will be out there campaigning for Biden. Biden will attack Trump over the virus deaths. If Trump doesn’t raise this issue, it will be buried.
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