On Monday, during a teleconference with reporters, New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed his opposition to hiring an independent investigator to explore exactly what happened in nursing homes in New York vis-a-vis the coronavirus.
A reporter asked, “State lawmakers today are investigating COVID-19 in nursing homes; there was some criticism for state health commissioner Howard Zucker for not appearing before the panel. There’s been a lot of back-and-forth about whether you have characterized some of these inquiries as partisan-based; would you support an independent investigation in order to bridge some of this mutual suspicion about partisanship getting into a better public understanding of what exactly happened in group home facilities and nursing homes?”
“No, I wouldn’t do an investigation whether or not it’s political, everybody can make that decision for themselves,” Cuomo answered. “I think you’d have to be blind to realize it’s not political. Just look at where it comes from and look at the sources and look at their political affiliations and look at who wrote the letter in Congress and look at what publications raise it and what media outward networks raise it. It’s kind of incredible.”
“Look at the basic facts on where New York is versus other states, right?” Cuomo continued. “You look at where New York is at the percentage of nursing home deaths it’s all the way at the bottom of the list of states. So I don’t think anyone — you know, what’s political, what’s not political, everyone can make their own decisions.”
The reporter asked about getting an “expert who ostensibly would not be political at all; would be trusted by Democrats, Republicans, independents alike to investigate exactly what happened in nursing homes.”
Cuomo stated, “Yeah, there is no such thing as a person who is trusted by all Democrats and Republicans. That person doesn’t exist.”
As Fox News noted, over 6,200 elderly residents may have died from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes according to state health department statistics. On March 25, the New York Department of Health issued an advisory that stated nursing homes had to accept residents returning from hospitals whether or not they had a diagnosis of COVID-19. The advisory stated:
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.
The Daily Wire reported on May 10 that a report from New York state authorities showed that “at least 4,813 residents with confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19 have died at 351 of New York’s 613 nursing homes since March 1, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration’s new list,” according to Time Magazine.