In late March, aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) “quietly inserted” a provision that granted almost total immunity to nursing homes from lawsuits from families of the 5,300 patients who have died from the coronavirus in various facilities throughout the state.
The New York Times reported that the provision went unnoticed by lawmakers who voted on the budget a few days later. The Times spends most of its article trying to blame the nursing home lobby for the provision, but waits until the 23rd paragraph to mention – in a single sentence – that “the state required nursing homes to take Covid-19 patients.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Cuomo’s administration authored a March 25 mandate that required nursing homes accept any “medically stable” COVID-19-positive patients who had been discharged from a hospital (but were still contagious and in need of care). Nursing homes also began receiving boxes of body bags each week.
The result of this mandate, as expected, was deadly. The Times reported that 5,300 nursing home residents have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
One nursing home in Queens received two coronavirus patients and a shipment of five body bags. Within days, three of the bags were used – the first of 30 residents at that one nursing home who would die of the coronavirus. Prior to being required to accept those two coronavirus patients, this particular nursing home had no coronavirus cases.
“Cuomo has blood on his hands. He really does. There’s no way to sugarcoat this,” an executive at the nursing home told the New York Post. “Why in the world would you be sending coronavirus patients to a nursing home, where the most vulnerable population to this disease resides?”
Cuomo tried to blame alleged nursing home greed for the deaths.
“And the regulation is common sense: If you can’t provide adequate care, you can’t have the patient in your facility and that’s your basic fiduciary obligation — I would say, ethical obligation — and it’s also your legal obligation,” he said. “Now, when a person gets transferred, they lose a patient, they lose that revenue, I understand, but the relationship is, the contract is, ‘You have this resident, you get paid, you must provide adequate care.’”
The Times, naturally, followed Cuomo’s lead by putting the blame on nursing homes for the huge numbers of coronavirus deaths, even though Cuomo’s Health Department issued the mandate with little to no warning for nursing homes to prepare to receive infected patients. Families of patients looking to sue the nursing homes over their loved ones’ deaths cannot do so due to the budget provision, even though the Cuomo administration is the one that wrote the mandate. In total, more than 29,100 nursing home residents and staff members have died from the coronavirus across the country, according to the Times.
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