Back in 2018, Andrew Cuomo’s campaign badly needed cash. The Greater New York Hospital Association, a powerful healthcare lobbying group, came through with a hefty $1.25 million donation that supported his reelection. Three other group officials also pledged donations totaling $150,000 between 2015-2018. This was one of the largest contributions to a New York State Democratic Party.
Now that the tables have been turned, the GNYHA needs help and Cuomo did not disappoint. Slipping some help into last month’s budget, he provided immunity protection for healthcare industry officials. This shields hospitals and nursing home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.
Critics are now trying to repeal this provision as it removed a deterrent against nursing homes and hospital corporations. These measures, of course, were drafted and aggressively advocated by the group it protects. The law was originally intended to increase capacity and provide quality care.
Needless to say, this all changed for Cuomo since his March 25 order. That order required nursing homes to readmit COVID-19 patients who had been discharged from hospitals. Many then blamed this order for the disproportionate COVID-19 deaths numbers in nursing homes throughout the state. 1/3rd of reported coronavirus deaths have occurred in nursing homes and the media is no longer fawning Cuomo as a replacement for Biden as a 2020 presidential nominee.
On May 10, the March order was diminished and replaced by a new one which states nursing homes are not required to readmit patients unless they have tested negative for COVID-19. Cuomo, of course, has tried to shift the blame of nursing home deaths on Trump claiming that the state was merely following the Administration’s guidelines. This is anything FAR from the truth. The Trump Administration’s guidelines say a nursing home can accept a patient diagnosed with COVID-19 as long as the facility follows CDC guidance.
Today, Cuomo is blaming the nursing homes. I mean, why not? He’s running out of people to point the finger at. “The obligation is on the nursing home to say, ‘I can’t take a COVID-positive person. I’m too busy, I’m too crowded. I don’t have enough PPE.’ Whatever the answer is. It doesn’t even matter. If they say I can’t take the person, they can’t take the person. So, that’s how it works.” Cuomo told reporters.
Of course, people aren’t buying this. Not one bit. First it’s Trump, now it’s the nursing home. Cuomo is the only one directly responsible for the deaths in nursing care facilities since March when he knowingly and intentionally introduced the virus into nursing care facilities.
But the bigger question remains….where’s the media on this?