Report on Andrew Cuomo’s Nursing Home Order Confirms Policy ‘Did Lead to Some Number of Additional Deaths’
“The Dept. of Health…argued unconvincingly that the admission of 6,326 COVID-positive residents during the period the Health directive was in effect had no impact. That cannot be the case, and has now been shown not to be the case,” the NYSBA Task Force on Nursing Homes & Long-Term Care said.
A seven-month review conducted by a New York State Bar Association nursing home task force blows big holes in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s claims that his March 25, 2020 nursing home directive did not lead to additional deaths in the state’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
The New York State Bar Association Task Force on Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care, which was appointed in July 2020 by the bar’s president Scott Karson, issued a 242-page report last week detailing its findings.
Among them, most notably, was their confirmation that the order did lead to more deaths, though they could not provide an exact number:
Although a determination of the number of additional nursing home deaths is beyond the capacity of the Task Force, there are credible reviews that suggest that the directive, for the approximately six weeks that it was in effect, did lead to some number of additional deaths. The Department of Health issued a report in 2020 in which it argued unconvincingly that the admission of 6,326 COVID-positive residents during the period the Health directive was in effect had no impact. That cannot be the case, and has now been shown not to be the case.222 As we have seen, once the virus came into a nursing home, it was hard to control.
The task force also referenced a damning report issued in February by the non-profit, non-partisan Empire Center for Public Policy, which said at the time “that COVID-positive new admissions between late March and early May, which numbered 6,327, were associated with several hundred and possibly more than 1,000 additional resident deaths.”
The order was in effect from March 25 through May 10, 2020, when Cuomo changed the policy after weeks of public criticism.
The NYSBA task force also bizarrely took pains to soften the blow to Cuomo’s fragile ego by suggesting that because “there were additional deaths does not mean the Department of Health directive was issued in error,” alleging the state “was also burdened with the insufficiencies of the federal response” and as a result had to make some “difficult decisions” in the early days of the pandemic. They did point out that “it was unreasonable to leave the directive in place for so long after it was necessary”:
Finally, it was unreasonable to leave the directive in place for so long after it was necessary. Hospitalizations peaked on April 14th. The hospital beds at the Javits Center were barely used, and the USNS Comfort sat empty in the Hudson River. The Comfort set sail from New York City on April 23rd. The March 25th directive could have been rescinded on or about the date the Comfort set sail, if not sooner.
A bipartisan chorus of Cuomo critics pointed to the report as further confirmation of what they’ve said all along about the governor’s handling of the pandemic:
That’s right. You can spend 45 minutes patting yourself on the back with controlled clapping from validators, but the truth won’t go away: Cuomo sent 9,000 COVID patients in six weeks to unprepared nursing homes that led to more deaths. https://t.co/SMFbDQV447
— Ron T. Kim (@rontkim) June 17, 2021
Thank you to my friend @HARRISFAULKNER for having me on @FaulknerFocus to talk about my latest OpEd: Cuomo, COVID and nursing home deaths—a new report that puts blame where families knew it belonged. https://t.co/TtCe7TuDSL
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) June 18, 2021
Confirming what so many of us have been saying for so long. He made a fatal decision, but then lied about it, and worse… he profited off it from getting a $5 mil book deal while hiding the true NH mortality numbers for months! #CuomoCoveruphttps://t.co/nmsXCSuYC6 via @nypmetro
— Kevin Byrne (@Byrne4NY) June 16, 2021
Nothing will ever make New Yorkers forget that Andrew Cuomo is the one who set the fire in dry grass.
He put COVID+ patients in nursing homes, covered up the death toll and then made $5.12M on a lie of a book. https://t.co/8vVmOOrSUB
— Candice Giove (@candicegiove) June 17, 2021
And thousands of beds at field hospitals built around the state, at Javits & on US Comfort all sat empty, despite desperate pleas from ill-equipped nursing homes.
He needs to be held accountable & the families of over 15,000 dead seniors deserve justice.https://t.co/WXD4FmhHx6
— Rob Astorino (@RobAstorino) June 17, 2021
Gov. Cuomo remains under investigation by the FBI and the NY State Attorney General’s office over the nursing home policy and the actions he took afterwards, including his administration suppressing death count information from the public and pressing forward with a lucrative book deal.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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