By Duncan Smith
In an incredible attempt to pass the buck for what could potentially become the most deadly policy decision of the coronavirus pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is blaming President Donald Trump and his administration for a decision to force nursing homes in his state to accept COVID-19 patients.
“New York followed the president’s agencies’ guidance,” Cuomo said during a Saturday press conference, per Fox News. “What New York did was follow what the Republican Administration said to do. That’s not my attempt to politicize it. It’s my attempt to depoliticize it. So don’t criticize the state for following the president’s policy.”
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance on coronavirus and nursing homes, Fox News pointed out. However, that guidance mostly refers to individuals who might have been taken into an eldercare facility before the pandemic started, and does not appear to reference coronavirus patients specifically.
Rather, the CDC guidance said that “nursing homes should admit any individuals that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present.” The CDC also required that “any newly admitted and readmitted resident with a COVID-19 case to be placed in a designated COVID-19 care unit, while those who have met the criteria to have recovered can return to a regular unit in the nursing home,” according to Fox News.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has, indeed, issued some guidance on coronavirus and nursing facilities, according to the network, but it refers largely to those individuals who might have been accepted at an adult care facility before the pandemic began, and does not appear to reference COVID-19 positive patients specifically.
“Not could. Should,” a Cuomo aide said, referring to policy. “That is President Trump’s CMS and CDC. There are over a dozen states that did the exact same thing.”
Yes, and there are several states that didn’t — including Florida, where GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis explicitly moved early to protect the state’s large eldercare population from the virus.
Also, as the Daily Wire notes:
Cuomo’s policy directed nursing homes and adult care facilities to accept patients coming not just from hospitals and other facilities with incidents of coronavirus, but also forced those same programs to accept coronavirus-positive patients and those recovering from the virus, many of whom continued to be contagious. The policy appears to have led to more than 5,000 deaths in New York alone.
“This is a political season, I get it,” Cuomo added in an earlier appearance. “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.”
Cuomo added: “They should ask President Trump. I think that will stop the conversation,” he said.
Is that so? Even The New York Times isn’t buying Cuomo’s BS.
In an expose published in late April, the paper “criticized the Cuomo administration for sending COVID-19 patients into many homes, particularly homes that serve minority and low-income communities, that could not adequately separate those with coronavirus from the general population. Under threat of state repercussions, these facilities took in individuals recovering from COVID-19, causing major outbreaks,” the Daily Wire added.
The Associated Press also found that 4,300 COVID-19 patients were sent to nursing homes before New York scrapped the program, giving rise to an extended outbreak in the state.
And it should be noted that Cuomo recently rescinded his policy.
Democratic governors in New Jersey and Michigan followed a similar policy; both of them are also suffering through extended coronavirus outbreaks, and as many as 50 percent of coronavirus-related deaths have occurred in nursing homes.
Finally, the CDC issued guidelines, not mandates, so there was nothing coming from the Trump administration forcing Cuomo’s hand.
Wouldn’t it be nice for a Democrat governor to take some responsibility for his own policy, just once?