After Attempting to Blame Trump Administration, New York’s Cuomo Now Blaming Health Care Workers For Covid Deaths

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 20: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during his daily news conference amid the coronavirus outbreak on March 20, 2020 in New York City. Cuomo ordered nonessential businesses to keep 100% of their workforce at home in an effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

 

Cuomo previously blamed the problem on President Trump and his administration.

“New York followed the president’s agencies’ guidance,” Cuomo said during a prior press conference. “… 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.”

The governor’s office said New York’s original nursing home policy was in line with a March 13 directive from the Trump administration’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that went out to all states on how to control infections in nursing homes. The guidance said “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.”

During his most recent news briefing, Cuomo is now blaming health care workers who brought coronavirus into nursing homes that evidently infected and killed tens of thousands of elderly people.

Cuomo failed to mention his own policies that permitted care facilities to accept infected staff workers and seniors. Instead, he urged people to solely resort to the “facts.”

“I want to make sure people have all the facts, the facts, the information. This past year, there is a toxic political environment and everything gets politicized,” Cuomo stated. “There is political spin and then there are facts. Two very different things, and I just want to be sure people have facts.”

Cuomo’s March 25th Order has since been deleted from the state of New York’s website. It required nursing homes to admit patients who were suspected to have or had tested positive for COVID-19: 

DATE: March 25, 2020

TO: Nursing Home Administrators, Directors of Nursing, and Hospital Discharge Planners

FROM: New York State Department of Health

COVID-19 has been detected in multiple communities throughout New York State. There is an urgent need to expand hospital capacity in New York State to be able to meet the demand for patients with COVID-19 requiring acute care. As a result, this directive is being issued to clarify expectations for nursing homes (NHs) receiving residents returning from hospitalization and for NHs accepting new admissions.

Hospital discharge planning staff and NHs should carefully review this guidance with all staff directly involved in resident admission, transfer, and discharges.

During this global health emergency, all NHs must comply with the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals to NHs. Residents are deemed appropriate for return to a NH upon a determination by the hospital physician or designee that the resident is medically stable for return.

Hospital discharge planners must confirm to the NH, by telephone, that the resident is medically
stable for discharge. Comprehensive discharge instructions must be provided by the hospital prior to the transport of a resident to the NH.

No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or
suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. NHs are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.

Information for healthcare providers on COVID-19 is readily available on the New York State
Department of Health public website at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/information-healthcareproviders. As always, standard precautions must be maintained, and environmental cleaning made a priority, during this public health emergency.

Critical personal protective equipment (PPE) needs should be immediately communicated to your local Office of Emergency Management, with the appropriate information provided at the time of request.

Requests MUST include:

o Type and quantity of PPE by size;
o Point of contact at the requesting facility or system;
o Delivery location;
o Date request is needed to be filled by; AND
o Record of pending orders.

Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation in responding to COVID-19. General questions or comments about this advisory can be sent to covidnursinghomeinfo@health.ny.gov.