The legacy media has come under fire for providing cover for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) terrible nursing home policy that transferred COVID-positive patients from hospitals to nursing homes. It's estimated that roughly 15,000 New Yorkers died from the virus while in nursing homes. To make matters even worse, Cuomo and his administration allegedly cooked the books and underreported the number of deaths. They were worried a higher death toll would be used as political leverage down the line.
Despite all that we know about the scandal, PolitiFact Editor in Chief Angie Drobnic Holan went to bat for Cuomo, saying there's not enough data to show whether Cuomo's nursing home policy resulted in the tens of thousands of deaths.
"I think the situation in New York is really complicated. Certainly, there are things to criticize about how the Cuomo administration handled data," Holan explained. "But the heart of the matter goes back to last year when the state was asking nursing homes to take in COVID patients who were ready to be discharged from the hospital. We don't see hard evidence that that made a significant difference in COVID deaths."
According to the fact check chief, statistics show New York's nursing home deaths are on par with other states.
"The issue was employees, workers in the nursing homes, who didn't realize, were bringing COVID-19 into the nursing homes," she said. "It's a really complicated situation. There's not clearcut answers here."
Angie Drobnic Holan, EIC of PolitiFact, on Gov. Cuomo's COVID nursing home scandal: "I think the situation in NY is really complicated...We don't see hard evidence that [his order] made a significant difference in COVID deaths," adds the "issue" was employees bringing in COVID. pic.twitter.com/iwUn7CWIqX— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) February 21, 2021
This is a copout for Holan to make. If Cuomo was worried about saving lives, he would have kept COVID-positive patients in the hospitals instead of transferring them to nursing homes, to the most vulnerable population. The whole reason those patients were put into nursing homes is because the hospitals needed bed space for the next round of COVID patients. But what about the USNS Comfort?
President Trump sent the Comfort to New York to treat patients for non-coronavirus-related illnesses. And what happened? It sat practically empty for a few days. The ship could hold 1,000 patients and had a staff of 1,200. They received roughly 50 patients. At Cuomo's request, Trump approved the Comfort to take up to 500 COVID patients. When the ship departed a month later, the crew treated only 182 patients, 70 percent of which had the virus.
The Javits Center was designed to hold 2,500 COVID patients. When it shut down, health care workers had only seen 66 patients. Why weren't COVID-positive patients sent there instead of to nursing homes?
The resources were provided to Cuomo but they weren't adequately utilized. To say otherwise is a lie.