Gov. Cuomo Must Answer for Nursing Home Deaths
Gov. Cuomo Must Answer for Nursing Home Deaths
Even as he appears to be positioning himself as the Democrats’ shining hope amid the darkness of Covid-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a great deal to answer for. His actions over the last several months have contributed to who knows how New Yorkers dying. He decisions centering on nursing homes and Covid-19 demand a full investigation. That became even more clear yesterday with the publication of a Lancet study about the survival rate of elderly Covid-19 patients. Let’s just say the news, while not unexpected, isn’t good.
While the study focused on two hospitals, the results should not only cause one’s blood to run cold but also force NY residents to ask what the hell their governor has done during this crisis. According to the study, most elderly Covid patients who were put on respirators did not survive. The study confirmed “that advanced age is the greatest risk factor for a severe outcome, particularly if accompanied by chronic underlying diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.”
Again, that’s nothing new. We’ve been hearing that from the experts from the beginning.
But it does bring to the forefront Cuomo’s actions regarding these compromised individuals.
A month ago, Cuomo noted that nursing homes were a “feeding frenzy” for Covid-19.
He knew. His own words show he knew the elderly were at a greater risk for infection from Covid-19 than most others. So why did he order nursing homes to accept Covid-19 positive patients? More than that, why did he threaten these same nursing homes with the loss of their licenses if they refused to comply?
It wasn’t until a little more than a week ago, after he came under scrutiny for this policy, that new rules were enacted preventing patients who tested positive for Covid-19 from being discharged to nursing homes. Why? Why did it take so long?
More importantly, would he have continued the policy had the glare of media scrutiny not been shining brightly on him (especially at a time when he seemed poised to start positioning himself as an alternative to Joe Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee)?
Until these new guidelines took effect, nursing homes operated under rules that “prevented New York’s nursing homes from denying admissions solely based on COVID-19 status.” So, in other words, the owners and/or operators of New York’s nursing homes were prevented from protecting their residents from a virus known to have potentially deadly effects on the elderly, the infirm or any combination of the two.
But it gets better. Cuomo’s aides, presumably at his instruction, added a provision to the budget that protects nursing homes from being sued because of Covid-19.
On May 13th, the New York Times reported 5,300 NY nursing home residents had died from Covid-19.
How many of those deaths were a direct result of forcing nursing homes to accept Covid-positive patients?
It must be something Cuomo and company worried about–not to mention worrying about how the industry might come after him come election time–because they added a provision to the state budget that protects those same nursing homes against Covid-related law suits.
The measure, lobbied for by industry representatives, shielded nursing homes from many lawsuits over their failure to protect residents from death or sickness caused by the coronavirus.
Now, weeks later, more than 5,300 residents of nursing homes in New York are believed to have died from the outbreak, and their relatives are finding that because of the provision, they may not be able to pursue legal action against the homes’ operators over allegations of neglect.”
Talk about rubbing salt in the wounds of grieving families.
First, Cuomo and company basically sign what could be death warrants for many of the residents in these nursing homes by forcing the facilities to accept Covid-positive patients. Then, when their loved ones became ill, because of the state mandated lock-down, they were unable to be with them. If they were lucky, they could talk to their family member via phone. But there was no sitting with them. No holding hands. No sharing memories.
No saying goodbye.
Now they are unable to seek legal redress for what happened. I guaran-damn-tee you that if they can’t sue the nursing homes, they sure as hell can’t sue the state. At least not without jumping through some very expensive hoops most won’t have the money or the desire to deal with. These families are left with questions–and debt–and why? Because Cuomo and company decided it would be a good idea to ignore what the medicals were saying and put active Covid cases in with a compromised population.
And they accuse conservatives of using the crisis to kill the elderly. I think they need to take a closer look at what is going on.
There must be accountability. The Lancet study isn’t alone in its findings that the critically ill, especially the critically ill elderly, who have to be put on respirators face a lower survival rate. According to WaPo:
Early data from Northwell Health, New York state’s largest health system, for example, drew a grim picture of survival chances for patients who were ill enough to need mechanical ventilators. In a paper published April 22, doctors reported that of 1,281 critically ill patients, only 3.3 percent of them had been discharged, while 24.5 percent died. The rest remained hospitalized.”
Cuomo and company have a great deal to answer for.
He needs to face more than scrutiny. He needs to face a full investigation and he needs to be held responsible for the consequences of his actions. At the very least, he needs to be voted out of office. Can you trust a politician willing to put any segment of the population at risk simply because it is expedient to do so? The answer should be a resounding “No!”
Gov. Cuomo, how many deaths are on your head? How many loved ones have been lost because of your ill-conceived plans? You want to lead your state? Then lead by example and show them how a man accepts responsibility.
I won’t hold my breath because I have no doubt you’ll find yet another excuse to offer for your actions. That leaves it up to the good people of New York to make sure you face the consequences of your actions.
November 2022 can’t come soon enough. Until then, we can only home the voters remember your actions and those who supported them when they go to the polls this November. You may wind up very surprised by the results. Let’s hope so. It is time NY, among other states, had a governor concerned for the citizens and not for his own media image or power base.
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