New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been under fire for his handling of the coronavirus response. He recently responded to the Attorney General’s report that revealed his administration severely downplayed the total number of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19 by saying defensively and ill-advisedly “who cares!”
Under an executive order last March, Gov. Cuomo had mandated nursing homes to admit “medically stable” coronavirus patients which put residents at an increased risk of harm in some facilities. The controversial directive was rescinded on May 10 and removed from the state’s health department website.
The AG’s report reveals that the current DOH tally of 8,711 deaths from 62 nursing homes could be pushed to more than 13,000 with new reporting. Cuomo’s administration only reported COVID-19 residents who had died in a nursing home, but not those who had died in hospitals. More than 4,300 recovering coronavirus patients had been sent to nursing homes because of Cuomo’s directive, which could push death toll statistics to 50% higher than claimed.
Gov. Cuomo was less than sympathetic when addressing the released reports from WHEC-TV reporter Jennifer Kewke. “Governor, your staff is often unapologetically aggressive when it comes to defending your policies, particularly on social media. But in this case, many of the people who disagree with this nursing home policy have a very personal connection to it, they lost a loved one during this pandemic with a connection to a nursing home. So, the policy itself aside…who was right, who was wrong… just as a father and son yourself, what would your message be to those families today?” She asked.
The New York Democrat passed the blame on the federal government, saying the State Department of Health had just followed guidance from the federal government. He went on to say that if people think this was a mistake then they can go talk to the federal government themselves.
“If you look at New York State, we have a lower percentage of deaths in nursing homes than other states. A third of all deaths in this nation are from nursing homes,” the Democratic governor said. “New York state we’re only about 28% … but were below the national average in number of deaths in nursing homes. But who cares?” 33%, 28%, died in a hospital, died in a nursing home—they died!” He blurted out.
The response led to Cuomo being questioned on his leadership role, which is clearly politically motivated. He has dismissed all directives to point the blame at former President Trump and take no personal responsibility for the heartbreak that hit New York’s nursing homes and most vulnerable.
Instead of taking responsibility for handling data poorly, Cuomo and the rest of the Democrat Party continues to find ways to point the finger at Republicans and turn tragedy into agenda. “Who cares” begs more questions as to why the full picture wasn’t given a year ago. It matters because Gov. Cuomo dodged the questions for so long – something a Democrat does best.