New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s disastrous COVID-19 orders extended beyond nursing homes.
A new report from Fox News found that the Cuomo administration issued a mandate in April 2020 requiring facilities that care for people with disabilities to accept COVID-19 patients. As a result, potentially contagious patients were placed together with those most vulnerable to the virus.
But unlike Cuomo’s nursing home order, which has been linked to thousands of deaths, his order for disability care facilities is still in place – and the impact on people’s lives is unknown, according to the report.
Republican state lawmakers are asking for answers. In February, they submitted a request to the New York Office for People With Developmental Disabilities for information about the order and the number of COVID infections and deaths in disability care homes, the report states.
“Close on the heels of the deadly nursing home order from the Department of Health, this order appears both dangerous and tone deaf. Transparency has been a major failing of this administration at all levels,” said state Sen. Mike Martucci, R-Middletown, in a statement.
The elderly and people with disabilities are particularly susceptible to COVID. According to Fox News, a recent study found that the death rate for people with disabilities who live in group homes is almost twice that of the overall population.
The New York Office for People With Developmental Disabilities reported 552 residents of disability care homes died from COVID-19 and more than 6,9000 were infected.
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In a statement to Fox, the office said the April 2020 order requires disability care homes to “accept individuals only if they could safely accommodate them.”
However, the order also prohibits the facilities from requiring coronavirus testing before admitting or readmitting patients, according to the report.
Cuomo is facing potential impeachment after his administration was accused of covering up thousands of elderly people’s deaths in nursing homes connected to his pandemic orders. Approximately 15,000 elderly New Yorkers have died since last spring.
The March 2020 order required nursing homes and assisted living facilities to accept COVID-19 patients. Cuomo later reversed the policy.
Late last week, an explosive New York Times report exposed how several of Cuomo’s top aides helped to hide approximately 9,000 people’s deaths to COVID in nursing homes last year. At the same time, the Democrat governor was receiving massive media praise for his handling of the pandemic and getting ready to profit from his new book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Several top Democrat and Republican lawmakers in the state have urged Cuomo to resign, but the governor refused.
Originally, New York reported 8,110 deaths at nursing homes due to the coronavirus. However, the state tally only included people who died at a facility. Nursing home residents who were transferred to hospitals and died there were not included in the total.
According to a state attorney general’s report in January, the actual total was 12,743.
New York has one of the highest COVID-19 death numbers and death rates in the United States – a status it has maintained for months, according to coronavirus statistics updated daily at NBC News.
Four other Democrat governors also ordered nursing homes to take coronavirus patients in 2020 before reversing their orders: New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Some of them now are facing investigations as well. These states are among the top ten for the highest coronavirus deaths in the country.