New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been largely commended for his response to the coronavirus. Whatever New Yorkers needed, he was on the phone with President Trump asking for it. And he's held daily press conferences with detailed data and inspirational messages, although they tend to be a bit on the corny side. But one of his policies continues to make us scratch our heads. As Cuomo himself noted at his daily press conference on Saturday, the elderly are most at risk to the coronavirus. And yet, he's green lit a measure that mandates nursing home facilities must accept COVID-19 positive patients once they're discharged from the hospital.
One facility that followed the directive, Gurwin Jewish Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, experienced an outbreak that killed dozens of residents. While staff couldn't pinpoint the exact cause, they did note that Cuomo's policy certainly didn't help matters.
Cuomo has defended the policy by noting that only facilities that say they have the capacity to care for these patients have been accepting them.
As of now, over 1,400 people have died in New York nursing home facilities.
George Pataki, who governed New York from 1995 to 2006, said what happened in New York nursing homes is a "disgrace."
“Gov. Cuomo’s handling of the nursing homes has been a disaster,” Pataki told the New York Post. “Thousands of people's lives might not have been lost except for these tragic policies.”
In a conversation with Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, the two wondered why Cuomo didn't take advantage of either the Javits Center, which had been turned into a temporary COVID-19 hospital, or the USNS Comfort, which President Trump personally sent off to New York City from Norfolk, Virginia.
"New York's policies with nursing homes is incomprehensible," he told MacCallum. "The Comfort had hundreds of beds waiting to take coronavirus-positive patients," Pataki said. "In the nursing homes, where the weakest of the aged [and] the most vulnerable were put together, [they] were required to take corona positive patients. It is an incomprehensible policy, and I think someone should look into it."
The former governor is doing just that.
I just called for an investigation of @NYGovCuomo failed nursing home policies in New York State. No other state should face what New York has been forced to endure.— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) May 1, 2020
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