Andrew Cuomo: Criticism of My Order Killing Nursing Home Residents is “Just Political”

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 11, 2020   |   10:05AM   |   Washington, DC

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo slammed a state legislative investigation Monday into his order requiring nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients, claiming it is “just political.”

The pro-abortion Democrat governor has faced wide-spread criticism for the March order. New York has the highest COVID-19 death count and one of the highest death rates in the U.S. According to NBC News, as of Monday evening, New York had 33,598 deaths, more than twice as many as the next highest state, New Jersey.

Cuomo has refused to admit any fault for the high death numbers, which many attribute to his order to place coronavirus patients with the elderly and people with disabilities, those most vulnerable to the virus, in nursing homes.

During a press conference Monday, the governor slammed state lawmakers for launching an investigation into the matter, Breitbart reports.

“I think you’d have to be blind to realize it’s not political,” Cuomo said. “Just look at where it comes from and look at the sources and look at their political affiliation and look at who wrote the letter in Congress and look at what publications raise it and what media networks raise it.”

However, the New York state legislature is controlled by Cuomo’s own Democratic Party. And, as the Times Union noted, numerous news outlets, not just conservative ones, have reported on the problem, including the left-leaning investigative publication ProPublica.

Cuomo said if people just look at the numbers, they would see that the percentage of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes in New York is low compared to other states, according to Breitbart. However, the Democrat governor and New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker have been accused of hiding the total number of nursing home deaths from the public.

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When asked if he would support an investigation by non-partisan experts, Cuomo claimed there is no such thing.

“There is no such thing as a person who is trusted by all Democrats and Republicans. That person doesn’t exist,” he responded. “… as you know, the Department of Health review was then reviewed by credible industry experts, right? So, to your point about, why don’t you get independent experts to review the numbers? We did. So, well, people don’t think they’re independent experts. I know. Because nobody’s ever going to agree on who an independent expert is.”

Here’s more from the Times Union:

Earlier this summer, New York released a study absolving the state of blame for the more than 6,000 COVID-related nursing home deaths. The independence of the report was immediately called into question. …

Cuomo argued that a recent review by the state Department of Health found the cause of more than 6,000 nursing home deaths in New York since COVID-19 began was attributed to infections spread by staff members and not by residents who were, under his executive order, returned to the facilities from hospitals while still infected but recovering. Cuomo said that report had been reviewed by “credible industry experts.”

As the Times Union reported, however, those health care industry leaders have close ties with Cuomo’s administration and have benefited from its policies and contracts.

In early June, AARP reported more than 43,000 nursing home residents and staff died from the virus, representing more than one third of all known deaths in the U.S.

“While dire, this figure is an undercount, experts warn, because not all states are publicly reporting data yet,” according to AARP. “In many states, more than half of coronavirus deaths are connected to long-term care facilities.”

Four other Democrat-led states also ordered nursing homes to take coronavirus patients: New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania and Michigan. These five states have some of the highest nursing home death numbers, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Perhaps uncoincidentally, these same five governors also allowed abortion facilities to continue to abort unborn babies in elective abortions during the initial shutdowns in the spring.