Downstate New York isn’t just the hot spot of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, but the entire world. Without a doubt, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home policy contributed significantly to this. On March 25, Cuomo ordered nursing homes to accept patients regardless of their coronavirus status. Even then it was well-known that the elderly were more vulnerable to the virus, yet Cuomo defended the policy. Nursing homes “don’t have a right to object. That is the rule and that is the regulation and they have to comply with that,” Cuomo said in April. He finally rescinded the order on May 11, but the damage had been done. Cuomo enabled a massive outbreak in New York nursing homes and then tried to cover it up with bogus coronavirus stats.
But the cover-up is still happening. Cuomo’s administration “investigated” the policy and its impact, and predictably concluded that the decision to send patients who tested positive for the coronavirus into nursing homes was not a “significant factor” in the thousands of deaths that occurred in nursing home facilities statewide.
Instead, the 33-page Cuomo administration report blamed nursing home staff and visitors for unknowingly infecting nursing home patients. The report, which Cuomo praised, was issued by Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, a Cuomo-appointee. Cuomo then claimed criticism of the nursing home policy was based on “pure politics.”
“You had this political conspiracy that the deaths in nursing homes were preventable,” Cuomo said. “And now the report has the facts and the facts tell the exact opposite story.”
This report conveniently was presented as state lawmakers are discussing holding private hearings on Cuomo’s nursing home policy.
New York Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt called the Cuomo administration report “an insult” to every New Yorker who lost a loved one in a nursing home. Nursing home patients represent a mere 0.46 percent of the United States population but account for at least 43 percent of all coronavirus deaths. “The Cuomo administration’s failure to accept responsibility for their disastrous response has been outrageous, but to blame family members who have suffered devastating losses – who were not even able to say goodbye at funerals – is the ultimate low,” Ortt added.
Dr. Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., a constitutional scholar, bestselling author, and healthcare expert, said back in May that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s deadly nursing home policy during the coronavirus pandemic likely cost 10,000 lives, double the state’s official numbers. “It’s hard to know what’s worse, the dying or the lying.”
Cuomo has tried to deflect responsibility for the policy, claiming he was merely following Trump’s policy, referring to an administration statement from March 13. “Sorry, Governor, but you’re twisting what the statement said,” McCaughey said. “The administration recommended nursing homes should admit patients even if they were coming from a hospital battling COVID-19, not that patients with COVID-19 themselves should be admitted.”
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis