By Selwyn Duke
You’re “now responsible for my life. You have a responsibility to me,” Governor Andrew Cuomo self-righteously said in April, referring to COVID-19 precautions. “Get your head around the ‘we’ concept,” he scolded moments later. “It’s not all about you.”
But it may be all about Cuomo to Cuomo, and about his political career, as the New York governor continues to dodge blame for his state’s nursing-home deaths. But the dodging just got harder, with a new report showing that this death toll is far higher than Cuomo’s health officials had claimed.
As the New York Post reports:
Attorney General Letitia James [D-N.Y.] has finally, and reluctantly, confirmed the ugly truth that Gov. Cuomo’s people have long strived to conceal but most New Yorkers suspected: The number of nursing-home residents who’ve died from COVID-19 is much higher than Cuomo’s administration claims — likely more than 50 percent higher.
James soft-pedals criticism of her political patron and his mad mandate that sent COVID-positive patients into the state’s most vulnerable population, but the facts she presents are damning enough. More, she notes the lack of evidence for Cuomo’s claim that nursing-home staff, not his edict, spread the deadly virus, killing thousands.
James’ damning 76-page report follows months of stonewalling by Team Cuomo. Lawmakers from both parties have demanded the true number of nursing-home-resident deaths; so has the Empire Center, via a Freedom of Information lawsuit. But Cuomo and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker refused to provide the info, with a series of absurd and contradictory excuses [news segment on the story below].
New York, which had embraced a strict lockdown, already had a higher coronavirus death toll than Texas and Florida, both of which not only have larger populations than does the Empire State, but also have rejected onerous China virus regulations. Now New York’s picture — and Cuomo’s (mis)management — look even worse.
In fact, the new report’s “bombshell findings could push the current DOH [Department of Health] tally of 8,711 [elder care facility] deaths to more than 13,000, based on a survey of 62 nursing homes that found the state undercounted the fatalities there by an average of 56 percent,” writes the Post in a different article.
“The report further notes that at least 4,000 residents died after the state issued a controversial, March 25 Cuomo administration mandate for nursing homes to admit ‘medically stable’ coronavirus patients — which James said ‘may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities,’” the paper continues.
The mandate had read, reports Reason, “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”
Moreover, it wasn’t until May, two months and thousands of deaths later, that Cuomo amended his order to state that patients must test negative for SARS-CoV-2 before being admitted.
Thus did a Queens nursing-home executive state in late April, “Cuomo has blood on his hands. He really does.” That executive, who remained anonymous for fear of retaliation, said her facility was China virus-free until Cuomo’s deadly order. Afterwards, residents started “dropping like flies,” she said, reported the Post at the time.
What’s so damning here is that even a 12-year-old who’d studied the COVID situation for five minutes would’ve known that, with the elderly being most vulnerable to the disease, putting virus-positive patients in nursing homes was a non-starter. So did Cuomo really not know?
Remember that in mid-March already, he issued the executive order “Matilda’s Law,” which placed great restrictions on people over 70 and those visiting them (e.g., you should be screened for temperature when seeing an elderly relative) and threatened individual fines up to $5,000 to enforce compliance. So Cuomo was serious.
He wanted you to know it, too. “My mother is not expendable. Your mother is not expendable,” he scolded March 24, rebuking those warning (correctly) that lockdowns would kill more than they’d save. Yet the very next day he issued the aforementioned order (seen below); in fact, he threatened the nursing homes with decertification if they didn’t comply with it, according to American Thinker.
Here is the death sentence signed by the Lord High Executioner. Remember the “death panels” ridiculed by the clowns at CNN et al? This is a little preview of “national health” run by crooked Democrats… https://t.co/6doQUUa0v1
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) May 11, 2020
Even more unbelievably, Cuomo’s health department sent the earlier cited Queens nursing home body bags along with the virus-infected patients — weekly, the Post reported in April. Yet Cuomo then said the very next month that sending the homes gowns and masks was “not our job.”
Returning to the most recent revelations, Heath Commissioner Zucker claimed that his department hadn’t concealed nursing home deaths and, to boot, also blamed Donald Trump. He has learned well from his boss.
Cuomo himself has made different excuses, at one time implicating the nursing homes themselves in the mortality. At another juncture, the governor fingered Trump and claimed that he was simply obeying a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) directive.
But this was a lie. The CDC document in question was, first, not a mandate but a set of guidelines. Second, it never stated that nursing homes should accept China virus-positive patients, only that they should take all patients they normally would even if they come from institutions where COVID is present.
Besides, if the nursing home policy had been Trump’s handiwork, why would Cuomo’s DOH have played down the magnitude of the death it wrought? As part of the Democrat effort to damage Trump, they’d no doubt have instead shouted the news from the Catskill mountaintops.
But nothing if not persistent, Cuomo, the man who won an Emmy for his COVID con and who wrote a book about his leadership during the pandemic, continues his charade. Blaming the Trump administration once again, he said Tuesday on MSNBC, “Incompetent government kills people.”
Well, the governor would know through experience quite a bit about that.