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Cuomo's COVID-19 cover-up — killing high-risk patients
By Mark Alexander
New York City resident Arlene Mullin asked an important question last month: "I am wondering who will hold Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo accountable for the deaths of so many older people due to his reckless decision to place COVID-19 patients in nursing and rehabilitation homes. I am writing as a daughter who lost her beautiful 88 year old mother who was receiving physical therapy at one such facility. ... I really want to know why the governor would put that population at such risk."
At a press conference on 2 March, just prior to acknowledging that New York City was the national epicenter of COVID-19 infections and deaths, Gov. Cuomo, who had previously made fateful decisions that left New York unprepared despite multiple warnings about leaving the state unprepared for a pandemic, declared: "Once you know the facts, once you know the reality, it is reassuring, and we should relax, because that's what's dictated by the reality of the situation. ... What happened in other countries versus what happened here — we don't even think it's going to be as bad as it was in other countries."
Taking his cue from Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also downplayed the COVID-19 threat: "We have a lot of information now, information that is actually showing us things that should give us more reason to stay calm and go about our lives. This is not, so far, something that you get through casual contact. There has to be some prolonged exposure. And I think it's really important to get that information out to all New Yorkers. ... I'm encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives and get out on the town despite Coronavirus."
For the record, Cuomo and de Blasio had the same information the CDC and other federal health agencies were providing the Trump administration's COVID-19 Task Force. They knew that Dr. Anthony Fauci made clear the threat to older Americans: "It's so clear that the overwhelming weight of serious disease and mortality is on those who are elderly and those with a serious comorbidity. ... If you look at the weight of the data, the risk group is very, very clear."
According to The New Yorker, Cuomo and de Blasio largely ignored the warnings.
The consequences have been deadly.
Since the first SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus death in the U.S. — originally thought to be 29 February, a California autopsy in April has since revealed it was actually 6 February — Democrat Party governors have joined the "blame Donald Trump" chorus led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and their Beltway cabal.
A quick review of the China Virus timeline makes clear that their blame is intentionally misplaced. They and their Leftmedia propagandists should be impugning Red China's dictator, Xi Jinping, his pandemic puppet, UN World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and themselves.
Of course, their objective is not to place blame where it belongs but to shift it to Trump in order to undermine his chances of defeating Joe Biden — assuming Biden, who now faces credible and corroborated sexual assault charges, is the Democrat nominee.
Behind the scenes, some key Democrats have been positioning Gov. Cuomo to be a possible brokered-convention replacement for Biden, praising his handling of the pandemic in New York.
Thus, it has become ever more important that Cuomo shift blame to the Trump administration for Cuomo's own repeated malfeasance — most notably the fact that his policies contributed to the accumulating deaths of more than 3,500 citizens residing in New York nursing homes.
On 25 March, Cuomo's Coronavirus NY Task Force issued a death sentence to the state's most at-risk population. Despite having full knowledge that the elderly were a very high-risk group (as noted above), Cuomo's State Health Department decreed: "No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19."
That edict also decreed that elder-care facilities "are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission."
Arlene Mullin wants Cuomo held accountable for that decision. Ironically, the same week he enacted that policy, Cuomo said, "My mother is not expendable, and your mother is not expendable, and our brothers and sisters are not expendable."
When confronted last week about these mandates, Cuomo claimed he knew nothing about the policy. He then made a political calculation that he needed to become a defender of his mass death warrant, declaring: "They don't have a right to object. That is the rule and that is the regulation and they have to comply with that. And the regulation is common sense: if you can't provide adequate care, you can't have the patient in your facility and that's your basic fiduciary obligation — I would say, ethical obligation — and it's also your legal obligation."
Following up the defense of his uncommon "common sense" policy, Cuomo then attempted to blame facility managers for not moving patients to hospitals — because they didn't want to lose the headcount revenues. According to Cuomo: "Now, when a person gets transferred, they lose a patient, they lose that revenue, I understand, but the relationship is, the contract is, 'You have this resident, you get paid, you must provide adequate care.'" But the fallacy in that blame-shifting ruse is that dead patients don't produce revenue either.
Then, doubling down to cover his political butt, Cuomo called for an investigation into nursing homes, in an effort to make his case that operator greed, rather than his own policies, killed all these senior citizens. "We're gonna undertake an investigation of nursing homes now," Cuomo declared, "to make sure they're following the rules. It's going to be a joint Department of Health and attorney general investigation."
Cuomo focused his diversionary tactic on Brooklyn's Cobble Hill Health Center, where the largest number of elderly have died.
But that facility's CEO, Donny Tuchman, produced communications with Cuomo health officials pleading for assistance, noting that he had "over 50 symptomatic patients scattered through the building and almost no gowns," and warning, "There is no way for us to prevent the spread under these conditions." On 9 April, Tuchman desperately requested that his facility's suspected COVID-19 patients be sent to the Javits Center's temporary hospital facility or the USNS Comfort medical ship. He received a response from some Cuomo bureaucrat with instructions for basic care, and his request to transfer his patients was denied.
Stephen Hanse, CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association, issued a statement affirming, "Nursing homes and assisted living providers and their residents have not been treated as a top priority for assistance with staffing, PPE shortages and COVID-19 testing." He continued: "This was clearly evidenced by the state's March 25 policy mandating that nursing homes admit hospital patients into their facilities that have a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. This treacherous virus spreads through nursing homes like fire through dry grass and the state's March 25 policy served to unnecessarily to fan the flames of this fire. This [policy] prevented them from safeguarding their residents and staff."
This week, Cuomo had the unmitigated arrogance to declare: "What's really happened in nursing homes is what we've feared from the get-go. It just takes one [COVID-infected] person ... to walk in there and then it is fire through dry grass."
While Trump's latest briefing misfire, this time about "disinfectants," set Democrat heads on fire across the nation — and their media ablaze with more fake news — there has been scant mention by those same leftist politicos and "journalists" about Cuomo's deadly nursing-home policies and his obvious political blame-shifting and cover-up.
There is one chink in Cuomo's fawning media armor, however: The New York Times has begrudgingly opined that his policy amounted to "playing Russian roulette" with nursing-home residents. I guess that better-late-than-never criticism of Cuomo is tantamount to a Times endorsement of Biden.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.