New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was pronounced the hero of the coronavirus pandemic by the media for months.
Now, his star is falling as a new report by the Associated Press confirmed that he made the needlessly fatal mistake of ordering nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients for weeks.
The AP report found that Cuomo’s March 25th executive order that care homes in the state must accept new and returning patients without requiring a negative COVID test resulted in more than 4,500 coronavirus patients flooding the state’s nursing homes, exposing thousands more of the most vulnerable population to the deadly virus.
Cuomo’s administration has refused to release the results of their own internal tally of the wreckage caused by Cuomo’s policy, but the AP’s independently calculated tally exposed the truth anyway.
Cuomo has tried to shift the blame to the Trump administration, claiming that New York was simply following federal guidelines for nursing homes.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said on Friday that federal guidelines dictated that “nursing homes SHOULD admit any individual they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/ is present.”
But Cuomo’s March 25th executive order specifically prevented nursing homes from denying “readmission or admission solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”
Recommending admission of a patient that has tested negative for COVID-19 even after being in a facility with other coronavirus cases present is quite different from mandating the admission of a patient with COVID-19.
Michael Caputo, assistant secretary for public affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services, told the New York Post on Friday that “Leadership is about good and sound judgment. Gov. Cuomo exercised misguided leadership. He’s responsible for this nursing home problem, and the deaths are on his hands.”