Well, Cuomo's Budget Move Pretty Much Sinks Lawsuits Against Nursing Homes Over COVID Deaths

|
|
Posted: May 18, 2020 5:05 PM
Well, Cuomo's Budget Move Pretty Much Sinks Lawsuits Against Nursing Homes Over COVID Deaths

Source: Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP

They should probably just call him the grim reaper. New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the liberal media to thank for giving him cover for this abysmal policy: forcing nursing homes to admit COVID-positive patients. No, seriously, this was a policy. Some outlets covered it, but at the heart of the liberal media beast—there was hope this could just blow away. That can’t happen is thousands died as a result. Between March 1 and May 1st, 4,800 people died from the virus, and only a complete and total moron could think this was a medical mystery. We all know nursing homes are Petri dishes. If something gets inside, the whole building will get it. From COVID to stomach viruses, it’s over. Now, as the body bags are piling up, Cuomo said he’s not going to require nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients now (via NBC News):

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a requirement for hospital patients to test negative for the coronavirus before they can be discharged to nursing homes, effectively reversing a much-criticized state policy that required long-term care facilities to accept recovering patients who may still test positive for COVID-19.

Cuomo, a Democrat, announced the change Sunday, along with a requirement for all New York nursing homes and adult care facilities to test staff members for COVID-19 twice a week and report positive cases to the state.

"We're just not going to send a person who is positive to a nursing home after a hospital visit. Period," he said during a news conference Sunday.

[…]

After a Long Island nursing home was required to take recovering COVID-19 patients under the state policy, an outbreak of the virus killed at least 24 residents — only three of whom had been transferred from hospitals, an NBC News investigation found.

For families looking to sue over this grim reaper policy, there could be a serious roadblock. Yes, Cuomo did his due diligence and slide a provision into the state’s budget language that provided a legal shield to nursing homes. To their credit, The New York Times reported on this legal wall Cuomo erected (via NYT):

In the chaotic days of late March, as it became clear that New York was facing a catastrophic outbreak of the coronavirus, aides to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo quietly inserted a provision on Page 347 of New York’s final, voluminous budget bill.

Many lawmakers were unaware of the language when they approved the budget a few days later. But it provided unusual legal protections for an influential industry that has been devastated by the crisis: nursing home operators.

The measure, lobbied for by industry representatives, shielded nursing homes from many lawsuits over their failure to protect residents from death or sickness caused by the coronavirus.

Now, weeks later, more than 5,300 residents of nursing homes in New York are believed to have died from the outbreak, and their relatives are finding that because of the provision, they may not be able to pursue legal action against the homes’ operators over allegations of neglect.

Several state lawmakers, besieged by complaints that poor staffing and shoddy conditions allowed the virus to spread out of control in the homes, said they were blindsided by the provision. At least one called for it to be repealed.

When this virus has passed, we need to circle back and put a magnifying glass over how Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to this outbreak. We know it was trash since the Big Apple was the launching pad for the entire US-based outbreak. De Blasio actually told people not to worry, go out and eat back in March—even when presented with evidence of an outbreak by the NYC health commissioner. Bill did nothing. Should we call it the China protocol? After all, China knew COVID-19 was going to become a pandemic and then did nothing for six days, six critical days. New York got wrecked by coronavirus and it was exacerbated by the Democratic graduates of St. Mary’s blind, deaf, and dumb crisis management program.