Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean lost both of her in-laws in a New York nursing home overrun by the coronavirus. She knew that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was to blame because he signed off on a mandate in March that forced nursing home facilities to accept COVID-19 positive patients once they were discharged from hospitals.
Anytime Cuomo and his staff were asked about the controversial policy, he either dismissed it as attempts by journalists to make front page news, or to suggest that facilities only needed to take COVID patients if they had the capacity to do so. But as lawmakers have noted, that did little to help the situation, because those facilities undoubtedly felt pressured to do what the governor wanted. Other critics wondered why Cuomo didn't instead send some of those patients to the USNS Comfort, which was stationed in the New York harbor for weeks. His puzzlingly stubborn mandate endangered our most vulnerable. He eventually reversed the order in May.
"YOU @NYGovCuomo made an executive order requiring nursing homes accept coronavirus patients," she wrote on Twitter in May. "That accelerated outbreaks like wildfire and killed our loved ones. We still don’t know the exact number of cases. YOU have a catastrophe on your hands."
Yet it's a catastrophe he's washed his hands of. In a new 33-page report from the New York State Department of Health on coronavirus-related nursing home infections and deaths in New York, Cuomo's office concludes that his policy was not "a significant factor" for the fatalities. Instead, they blame the thousands of infected staffers who continued to show up to work, not knowing they had the virus.
"An analysis of the timing of admissions versus fatalities shows that it could not be the driver of nursing home infections or fatalities," the report argues.
Omg I can’t. @SteveScalise @SelectGOP we must have an independent investigation. @NYGovCuomo cannot get away with this. He’s blaming nursing home staff and visitors for the over 6,000 senior deaths! https://t.co/iQ1FtuCKSW— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) July 6, 2020
"His mandate FORCED Covid positive patients into nursing care facilities for 46 days and his report says it had nothing to do with the horror show numbers," Dean continues. "He. Is. Lying. If his mandate was so safe why did he finally have to reverse it May 10th, then scrub it from the NYC website and mak the decision to NOT count senior deaths in hospitals even though they caught the virus in nursing homes?"
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who has also been very vocal about Cuomo's deadly policy, promised Dean that the governor won't get away with it.
We won’t let him get away with this. https://t.co/IjjkfhEodx— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) July 6, 2020