It’s been a long journey.
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.”
I broke the original story a month later. The media spent the rest of 2020 hyping Cuomo. And then his downfall kicked in for politically opportunistic reasons. The Democrats didn’t want Cuomo stealing the limelight from Biden. And local lefties were hoping to topple Cuomo. A damaging tape was leaked and the fall goes on.
The FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn have launched an investigation that is examining, at least in part, the actions of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s coronavirus task force in its handling of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during the pandemic, the Times Union has learned.
The probe by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York is apparently in its early stages and is focusing on the work of some of the senior members of the governor’s task force, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter who is not authorized to comment publicly.
I don’t know of any conservative who still has any optimism about an FBI investigation. The other problem is that Cuomo didn’t do anything that a whole bunch of other Democrat governors didn’t do.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order which dictated that a “long-term care facility must not prohibit admission or readmission of a resident based on COVID-19 testing requirements or results” and told hospitals to discharge coronavirus patients back to the homes they had come from. Some nursing homes were designated as ‘hubs’ and coronavirus patients were transferred into them, even though these facilities had uninfected residents.
On March 31st, New Jersey Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli issued an order stating that in order to achieve “the expedited receipt of patients/residents discharging from hospitals”, “no patient/resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the post-acute care setting solely based on a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.” It was a virtual copy of the earlier New York State order.
But before New York and New Jersey had even made their move, Governor Tom Wolf’s grandma-killing administration had ordered Pennsylvania nursing homes to accept “readmissions for current residents who have been discharged from the hospital” in order to “alleviate the increasing burden in the acute care settings” including “patients who have had the COVID-19 virus.”
Wolf’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Richard (Rachel) Levine, had transferred his own mother out of a nursing home and to a hotel.
Levine now has a role in the Biden administration.
On March 30th, Governor Newsom’s administration warned skilled nursing facilities that they “shall not refuse to admit or readmit a resident based on their status as a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.”
“California’s directive is nothing less than a death sentence for countless residents,” warned Patricia McGinnis, executive director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.
Back then I asked…
When a violent thug was shot by a police officer in a small city in Missouri, the Obama administration came down on Ferguson with an iron fist. How is it possible that thousands of nursing home residents can die, that grandmothers and grandfathers, that 127 veterans in New Jersey’s state-run nursing homes, that 5% of New York’s nursing home population can perish with less care than the concern about a thug?
What do we amount to as a country if we not only let that happen, but let them get away with it?
This is a question that tests the extent of emergency powers during the pandemic.
Cuomo’s actions were hideous, but they were far from unique. The only reason to investigate Cuomo, but not his Democrat peers would be that his coverup was especially ugly and clumsy. But nailing a few Cuomo associates for obstructing an investigation while shrugging at the thousands of deaths would be an outrage and typical of the broken system.