Fact Checker Wasn't Having Any of Andrew Cuomo Trying to Pass Blame to Trump over Deadly Nursing Home Policy

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Posted: Jun 15, 2020 1:15 PM
Fact Checker Wasn't Having Any of Andrew Cuomo Trying to Pass Blame to Trump over Deadly Nursing Home Policy

Source: AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo knows this issue will probably come back to haunt him, especially when he makes a run for the White House in the future: the grim reaper policy that forced nursing homes to take COVID-positive patients. The policy led to thousands of deaths, and it's really no shocker since if anything gets into a nursing facility, it spreads like a brushfire. The state deleted the order from Cuomo on New York's health website. So, yeah, it's an issue. Cortney wrote about it previously, and now even liberal fact-checkers are calling the liberal governor out. Cuomo tried to pass the blame onto President Trump, saying his nursing home edict was based on CDC guidelines.

He said, "I'm not going to get into the political back and forth, but anyone who wants to ask, why did the state do that with COVID patients in nursing homes? It's because the state followed President Trump's CDC guidance."

Well, that's not true (via PolitiFact):

The CDC's guidance at the time of the March 25 state order was that COVID-19 patients who are medically stable can be discharged from a hospital to a nursing home, but only if the nursing home can implement all recommended infection control procedures.

CMS, a federal agency that regulates nursing homes, issued similar guidance, and also said that preferably, coronoavirus patients should be cared for in a dedicated unit. 

Like CDC and CMS, the state Health Department said only those patients who are medically stable can be discharged, and also recommended that nursing homes consider dedicated units, if possible. The Health Department prohibited nursing homes from requiring a COVID-19 test before admitting a resident, while CMS said new residents should be tested, but did not require it. 

The Cuomo administration points to state and federal regulations that predate the pandemic, which require facilities to accept only those patients they can care for. In addition, earlier state communications encouraged nursing homes to stay current with CDC guidance.

But once the state issued its March 25 advisory, nursing home operators said that they felt they had no choice but to accept residents who were either known to be infected or suspected to be. That’s because the March 25 memo did not say anything about making sure that a nursing home can care for a patient before making an admission decision, and said they "must comply with the expedited receipt of residents." In the month following the memo, nursing homes pleaded for relief from the order.

And if PolitiFact is calling out Democrats, you know it's a real whopper.