SHOCKING: Cuomo’s Policy Sent More Than 4,300 COVID-Positive Patients Into Nursing Homes

Written by K. Walker on May 22, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo who said “the buck stops here” is now trying to deflect by saying “ask President Trump” about nursing home deaths.

This is an outrageous statement for Gov. Cuomo who has been basking in the great press he’s received since he began his daily coronavirus briefings while simultaneously bungling the response to the pandemic from the get-go.

Cuomo, (who insists that he’s not being political,) has tried to rewrite history and insist that his policies were put in place because of CDC guidelines…but that’s just not true. Initially, the guidance was to keep hospital beds free for COVID patients which were expected to overwhelm the system.

Despite frequently jousting with the president throughout the pandemic, however, Cuomo betrayed no regrets on adopting that March 25 directive, even with well over 5,000 confirmed or suspected coronavirus deaths now reported in nursing homes.

“You have to remember the facts,” the governor said. “The CDC guidance said a nursing home cannot discriminate against a COVID patient.”

But the directive was also motivated by a desire to keep hospital beds free by shifting those with minor infections elsewhere, Cuomo continued — even if that meant putting them in nursing homes, among some of the most susceptible to the disease.

“Is the best use of a hospital bed to have somebody sit there for two weeks in a hospital bed when they don’t need the hospital bed … and you need that hospital bed for somebody who may die without it?” asked Cuomo.

Source: New York Post

Under announced that the State Attorney General is conducting a probe–but not of his disastrous policy, of the facilities that were forced to take the COVID patients.

Let’s rewind just a little and go back to what we knew back before we knew what “social distancing” and “flatten the curve” meant.

All the way back in February, a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington was dealing with the first known outbreak of COVID in the United States. On February 29, the New York Times reported the first COVID death–a healthcare worker in that facility.

in Kirkland, where a health care worker in her 40s at the Life Care Center, a long-term nursing home, and a resident of the center, in her 70s, were reported on Saturday to have tested positive for the virus, health officials expressed alarm at the possibility of more cases. Among 288 residents and workers at Life Care, more than 50 people — 25 health workers and 27 residents — have shown symptoms of respiratory illness or have been hospitalized for pneumonia, local health officials said.

“We are very concerned about an outbreak in a setting where there are many older people,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, the health officer for Public Health in Seattle and King County. A team of federal health workers was dispatched to Kirkland to assist local workers, and many more coronavirus tests were expected to be conducted in the coming days.

Older people are much more likely to face serious illness if infected with the coronavirus. They are also much more likely to die. An analysis of Chinese patients found that nearly 15 percent of infected people over age 80 died; of those in their 70s, 8 percent died.

Source: New York Times (Emphasis Added)

From the very beginning, we knew that the elderly were a high-risk group. This wasn’t a surprise.

This is still the case, in many places all over the world, the majority of COVID deaths are occurring in nursing homes.

Even the CDC guidelines that Cuomo is referring to say that COVID patients are to be isolated within the nursing home and extra precautions should be taken. Cuomo had said that New York nursing homes should be prepared to take COVID patients and if they can’t manage that, then “they lose that patient.” The thing is, his March 25 order didn’t allow a nursing home to refuse patients.

We know that the state knew that this was a terrible policy because they sent body bags with COVID patients returning to nursing homes. 

New York state has seen 5,300 deaths in nursing homes from COVID-19 (that we know of) and the infection rate continues to soar.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of nearly 5% of nursing home residents in New York State.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s defense of a controversial nursing home policy is not going over well with critics who say CDC guidelines alone can’t be blamed for the overwhelming number of deaths.

At the Gurwin Home in Commack, they celebrate every recovery from COVID-19 – uplifting moments amid the painful loss of almost 30 residents.

A March 25 directive is cited by many for contributing to the more than 5,000 New York nursing home deaths from COVID-19-related illnesses
Source: CBS (Emphasis Added)

The Associated Press reports that a huge number of COVID patients who were infected and infectious were sent into nursing homes.

NEW YORK — More than 4,300 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.

AP compiled its own tally to find out how many COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals to nursing homes under the March 25 directive after New York’s Health Department declined to release its internal survey conducted two weeks ago. It says it is still verifying data that was incomplete.

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.”
Source: ABC News (Emphasis Added)

Governor Cuomo can keep trying to shift the blame to the federal government, but that’s disingenuous. He was happy to take the glory when the press was blowing sunshine up his butt early on, but now that it’s clear that he made some tremendous missteps, he’s trying to pass it off on the CDC recommendations.

Well, that’s just not going to work. He didn’t follow the CDC guidelines properly by considering the nursing homes on a case-by-case basis. Cuomo’s rule didn’t permit the facilities to refuse COVID-positive patients.

The buck does stop with the governor. New York voters should remember that.


ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker