NY Gov Cuomo’s “fatal error” with our most vulnerable population


Governor Cuomo ordered nursing homes to re-admit elderly patients with coronavirus. The nursing homes were not equipped for it and, as the WSJ found in a new report, they were overwhelmed with cases of Covid-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Cuomo reversed the policy but won’t admit his original policy was flawed.


Cuomo could have put these patients in the hospital ship or the Javits center which never had an influx of patients. Instead, he chose to put the sick patients with the most vulnerable population who did indeed catch the virus in large numbers.

Before Cuomo did this, most if not all had no coronavirus patients and would not have accepted the sick patients if it were not for Cuomo’s directive.

After thousands of deaths in New York nursing homes, some lost 50 residents, the state on Sunday reversed the mandate which said nursing homes couldn’t refuse to accept patients from hospitals who had been diagnosed with Covid-19. New York now says hospitals can send patients to nursing homes only if they have tested negative for the virus.

The policy before the U-turn is one of several decisions the state made that are now coming under fire, as New York’s death toll tied to nursing homes rises, to 5,398 presumed and confirmed fatalities as of May 12, more than any other state and a significant part of New York’s total deaths, the WSJ reports.

“The state has failed to protect the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Ron Kim, a Democratic member of the state Assembly whose Queens district has seen many nursing-home deaths. “The fact we maintained and pushed COVID-positive patients into facilities that were not equipped to handle them, it was a fatal error.”

And it was a fiat by Governor Cuomo who just acts. He should have known he would be responsible for thousands of deaths after witnessing the high rate of deaths in Washington nursing homes.


During a Sunday news conference, “Mr. Cuomo said the change didn’t reflect a view that the original directive was flawed, and that nursing homes should not have accepted patients they weren’t able to care for.,” according to the WSJ.

The directive ordered them to take the patients. “It’s the rule,” he said.

New York Mayor and ruler Andrew Cuomo mandated that elderly COV-19 patients be sent to nursing homes. He gave them no time to prepare. As a result, over 25% of the deaths in New York were in nursing homes.

“Nursing homes don’t have a right to object,” Cuomo said. “That is the rule,” he stated emphatically.

New York also said Sunday that it would require nursing homes to test their employees twice a week.

The state quietly surveyed nursing homes about the impact of the original hospital admissions policy last week. A state health official declined to reveal the results but said they hadn’t affected the recent change. “The state has greatly increased testing capacity in a short amount of time and the anticipated strain on the hospital system didn’t happen, making the new health and safety standards possible,” he said.

Sure, right, whatever you say.

In a written statement, Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Mr. Cuomo, said the New York policy was similar to those of other states, and that if a nursing home didn’t have the resources to care for a resident, it “must transfer them to a place that can—period.”

When nursing homes balked, Cuomo told them it was the rule, but it’s reversed now.


The nursing homes didn’t have the money for the PPEs and they did very limited testing. There are reasons for that. The state, Cuomo, is responsible. He said providing PPEs was not the state’s job.

“On March 21, as the infection spread, the state told nursing homes in areas with a high prevalence of Covid-19, mostly around New York City, that they didn’t need to test symptomatic residents, and should assume they were positive. The state had previously said that infected residents should be kept separate from those who weren’t,” reports the WSJ.

Patients were then incorrectly placed and not separated adequately. State officials say they’re working on getting the nursing homes PPEs now.

No one can sue. New York has passed a law containing a broad liability shield for nursing homes and other health-care providers amid the pandemic, retroactive to March 7.

Check out the inadequate state survey they sent

They contradict themselves in one paragraph:

A state survey form viewed by the Journal, which a state official confirmed last week was still in use, included a question that ordered nursing homes to report “the total number of Covid-19 positive residents who have died outside your facility since your last report.” Then, seemingly contradicting itself, the questionnaire noted that the number “should not include anyone who was NOT physically at your facility at the time of death.”

The double negatives are always a bad idea.

An earlier version of the form viewed by the Journal, which a state health official confirmed was in use from March 9 through April 15, asked nursing homes only about Covid-19 resident deaths in hospitals—not fatalities that occurred in the homes themselves. After that, nursing homes were asked for data going back to the start of March.


If they weren’t testing the elderly patients who have other illnesses, we don’t know for certain how many actually died from COVID-19. I can personally tell you of one case of a 92-year-old woman I know who was sent to the nursing home to die. She had little time to live. Then she caught a virus, not the coronavirus, in the home, and her organs were giving out. They then said she also caught COV-19 without testing her. She died, but what killed her?

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