NY Gov. Cuomo, under fire for nursing home deaths, blames Trump
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NEW YORK, May 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As pressure mounts over his fatal decision to force nursing homes in the state to take in COVID-19 patients regardless of the danger to their elderly residents, New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo now claims that guidance from the Trump administration made him do it.
As of May 22, the United States is estimated to have seen more than 1.6 million COVID-19 cases, with more than 97,000 deaths and 395,000 recoveries. An estimated 40 percent of those deaths have come from nursing homes. New York has been the hardest-hit state, with 29,005 deaths.
For weeks, the pro-abortion Cuomo has been under fire for ordering that nursing homes cannot turn away patients diagnosed with COVID-19, despite the fact the virus is most dangerous to the elderly.
“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 (Centers for Disease Control) guidance,” Cuomo told reporters Wednesday, the New York Post reported.
“The CDC guidance said a nursing home cannot discriminate against a COVID patient.” He added that he was motivated in part by the belief that putting the COVID-positive elderly in nursing homes instead of hospitals would keep hospitals from running out of beds.
But New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik disputed Cuomo’s rationale, the Daily Caller reported. Stefanik explained that CDC guidelines called for the decision where to house elderly patients to be made on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the “ability of the accepting facility to meet the recommended infection control practices,” such as the “ability to place residents in a designated COVID-19 care unit that is equipped with the resources and PPE to safely prevent the spread of infections.”
CDC guidance was clear that decisions about discharging COVID-19 patients should be based on the ability of the accepting facility to meet the recommended infection control practices. This includes the ability to place residents in a designated COVID-19 care unit that is equipped— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 21, 2020
a transmission risk before accepting them. Governor Cuomo’s MANDATE requires acceptance regardless of a nursing homes capacity to safely accept COVID-19 positive cases.— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 21, 2020
Writing in Newsweek, Jonathan Tobin added that other governors, such as Ron DeSantis of Florida, exercised that discretion differently from Cuomo. DeSantis “allowed nursing homes in his state to refuse to admit virus victims. As a result, the death toll in nursing homes in a state with a bigger and elderly population was estimated this week to be approximately 875 — a lot less than the approximately 5,000 estimated deaths in New York nursing homes by the middle of May.”
Tobin further noted that Cuomo, acting of his own accord, initially refused to change course. “While Cuomo conceded at one point that he ‘wouldn't put (his) mother in a nursing home right now,’ he was at the same time backing up his administration's decision,” he wrote. “It took six weeks after the state issued its order for New York to finally back down and reverse the ruling. In the meantime, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives were lost.”
Many states have responded to the COVID-19 outbreak by imposing strict limits on “non-essential” activity, including delays of non-urgent medical procedures. As a result, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, with more than 33 million Americans filing for unemployment and studies predicting that tens of thousands of small businesses that have closed down will never reopen.
Defenders of the lockdown strategy have insisted this was a necessary sacrifice to save lives, although mounting evidence suggests that the response to COVID-19 carries public-health consequences of its own. This week, 500 doctors wrote the Trump administration warning that it is “impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown,” and that “millions of casualties … will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.”
A growing number of medical experts also argue that, in light of the fact that COVID-19 primarily affects the elderly and immunocompromised but poses relatively little risk to the young, policymakers should pursue a narrower strategy of protecting the former groups while allowing the rest of society to resume normal life. “If we focus on the elderly, we will bring a death rate that is likely no more than 1 percent down to fractions of a percent,” said Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.