He may have had his last coronavirus press conference, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not going to stop hearing questions about his deadly nursing home policy. On March 25, the Democratic governor ordered that long-term care facilities must accept COVID patients who were discharged from hospitals. Thousands of deaths later and New Yorkers, particularly those who lost loved ones in nursing faciilties, want answers.
"From worst to first," Cuomo said in a videotaped speech on Friday. "We are controlling the virus better than any state in the country. And any nation on the globe. Even more, by red the infection rate, we saved over 100,000 people from being hospitalized and possibly dying."
He called it an "unimaginable achievement."
While true that New York has had a massive turnaround, with cases and deaths continuing to decline, one controversial decision Cuomo made in March may overshadow all of that improvement. Unfathomably, Cuomo decided to mandate that nursing home facilities accept COVID-positive patients. He has since rescinded that measure, but the initial decision likely led to thousands of unnecessary deaths. On Thursday, the governor dismissed criticism of his policy as a "shiny object" and "pure politics."
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) tallied at least 6,000 deaths in the wake of Cuomo's nursing home order and said surviving family members deserve better than flippant answers.
Devastated families are grieving for lost loved ones.— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) June 19, 2020
>6000 unnecessary nursing home deaths bc Cuomo ignored CMS guidance regarding nursing homes.
Heartbroken families deserve accountability & they especially deserve better than being called “shiny objects” for wanting answers. https://t.co/1uPmtMscRs
Several other lawmakers won't let Cuomo forget just how consequential the nursing home order was. GOP Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who is running for Congress this November, told Townhall that she was baffled by why Cuomo failed to utilize the hospital ship the USNS Comfort when it was in the New York harbor. Couldn't he have sent some elderly patients there, instead of putting other nursing home residents in danger?
After weeks of complaints about Cuomo's slow moving reopening, New York City will begin Phase Two of reopening on Monday.