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Surprise: Cuomo's Final Nursing Home Report Plays the Blame Game

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Posted: Jul 09, 2020 2:00 PM
Surprise: Cuomo's Final Nursing Home Report Plays the Blame Game

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The New York State Department of Health concluded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's nursing home order did not play a significant role in the thousands of nursing home facility deaths in the state since the coronavirus outbreak. The study was created after weeks of backlash about the governor's mandate, which forced nursing home facilities to accept COVID-positive patients. It turns out they did, over 6,000 times. And thousands of residents died in New York nursing homes in the past few months since the order went into effect.

The 33-page report gets right to the point: The nursing home staffers were to blame.

According to data submitted by nursing homes, in many cases under the penalty of perjury, approximately 37,500 nursing home staff members—one in four of the state’s approximately 158,000 nursing home workers—were infected with COVID-19 between March and early June 2020. Of the 37,500 nursing home staff infected, nearly 7,000 of them were working in facilities in the month of March; during the same period, more than a third of the state’s nursing home facilities had residents ill with the virus. Roughly 20,000 infected nursing home workers were known to be COVID-positive by the end of the month of April.

Based on the NYSDOH's research on the timing of the infections, they conclude it's "likely that thousands of employees who were infected in mid-March transmitted the virus unknowingly—through no fault of their own—while working, which then led to resident infection."

Reporters take issue with some of the health department's methods and don't buy that Cuomo's dangerous directive had any impact on the spread of COVID in these vulnerable communities.

Lawmakers aren't buying it either, dismissing the report entirely because it amounted to little more than the Cuomo administration investigating themselves and giving themselves a pat on the back. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) called it "a corrupt conflict of interest and self-serving cover-up."

Cuomo's team argues that the health department's report was "peer reviewed" by health experts, to which Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, who lost both of her in-laws to a COVID-infected New York nursing home, replied:

New York lawmakers - Republican and Democrat - are calling for an independent investigation into the nursing home tragedy.

New York Post contributor Michael Goodwin penned a forceful essay about Gov. Cuomo's abusive treatment of nursing homes. He knows how it feels to be blamed for those thousands of fatalities, considering the Post was on the governor's list of culprits he's blamed for his own mess. But Cuomo's attempt to blame nursing home staff and even family members for the tombstones is "simply scandalous," Goodwin writes.