Andrew Cuomo’s Nursing Home Order Killed Her In-Laws, Now She Wants Him Held Accountable

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 21, 2020   |   1:22PM   |   Albany, New York

Janice Dean is leading the call for accountability from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after his order requiring nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients exposed elderly, vulnerable people to the virus.

Dean, a senior meteorologist at Fox News and New York Times bestselling author, said both of her in-laws died from the coronavirus in March in assisted living and nursing home facilities in New York.

She believes Cuomo’s order led to her in-laws’ and other loved ones’ deaths. And she wants an investigation, The Federalist reports.

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 Wednesday morning, New York had 34,263 reported deaths.

However, Cuomo has refused to take responsibility for the high death numbers.

“The fact that this governor refuses to accept responsibility for his actions makes our grief and anger far worse,” Dean wrote recently at USA Today. “I know I speak for many when I say we need a non-partisan investigation on both the state and federal level so that this never happens again.”

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Dean blamed news outlets for failing to hold the Democrat governor accountable, too.

“The fact that [Cuomo] is going on every single program and barely gets asked the question about the nursing homes makes our grief worse,” she continued. “I am not here because of where I work or who I voted for. I am here to support all of these wonderful people that are now part of my family because we need answers as to what happened and why it happened.”

Here’s more from The Federalist:

On March 25, Cuomo mandated that hospitals discharge elderly patients with COVID-19 back to nursing homes, like the ones where Dean’s in-laws were staying. The order extended for more than a month, leading to the infection of thousands of vulnerable people in close quarters with contagious co-residents.

While New York’s nursing home death count policy is under scrutiny for potentially underestimating the number of actual infections and deaths, at least 6,660 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic in New York nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Dean said Cuomo’s order should be a huge story, but few are reporting about it.

“Twenty percent of our lost loved ones are from nursing homes. And, it’s because Governor Cuomo, and several other governors, by the way, in different states, forced COVID-recovering patients into nursing homes,” she said.

Four other Democrat governors 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.

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. at the time.

“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.”

Dean has been working hard to raise awareness and urge lawmakers to investigate Cuomo’s actions. Earlier this week, she participated in a protest with other grieving families in Brooklyn.

“[We] want an apology and answers from @NYGovCuomo about his tragic nursing home order. We also want an independent bipartisan investigation with subpoena power. We’re not going away,” she wrote on Twitter Tuesday, sharing a video of the protest.

Like so many others, Dean said she wants to know why the governor put vulnerable nursing home patients at risk, why he did not use the other makeshift hospitals for COVID-19 patients instead and why the state still has not released the total number of nursing-home deaths linked to the virus.

“This is not political. It’s about accountability @NYGovCuomo,” she wrote on Twitter. “We won’t stop.”