Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, July 14, 2020
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is responsible for the coronavirus deaths of thousands of nursing home residents in the state.
The governor can’t deny that fact. But he’s trying to.
Cuomo has been insisting that the thousands of nursing home deaths had nothing to do with his March 25 order which required nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients who were medically stable without testing them. Cuomo claims the deaths were caused by infected staff members who spread the virus.
Not only is Cuomo trying to deflect responsibility away from his handling of the coronavirus crisis, he’s also attempting to profit from it.
Cuomo recently told 1010 WINS radio that he is writing a book about his experience handling the pandemic.
The governor even released a report which allegedly backs up his claim, but the scientific community has questioned the report’s methods. (Remember science? Democrats such as Cuomo have lectured since the start of the pandemic about “following the science.”)
The report alleges that 80 percent of the 310 nursing homes in New York that took coronavirus patients already had cases before Cuomo issued his order. University of Texas-Houston epidemiologist Catherine Troisi noted that it does not address what impact the order had on the other 20 percent.
“Would this get published in an academic journal? No,” Troisi told The Associated Press.
Denis Nash, an epidemiologist at the City University of New York School of Public Health, told the AP that the number of nursing home deaths reported by the state does not include residents who died after being transported from the nursing home to a hospital. Nash said this is a “potentially huge problem” that undercounts the virus’ toll and could “introduce bias into the analysis.”
Rupak Shivakoti, an epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, noted that even if the report is accurate in stating that infected staff were the greatest factor in contributing to residents’ deaths, Cuomo’s order still could have played a role.
If the coronavirus patients who under Cuomo’s order were sent to nursing homes “didn’t infect other patients directly, they still could have infected a worker,” Shivakoti said
Charlene Harrington, a professor emerita of nursing and sociology at the University of California at San Francisco, is not convinced by New York’s explanations.
“It seems like the Department of Health is trying to justify what was an untenable policy,” Harrington said.
Cuomo has blamed “dirty politics” for the accusations he has faced over his order, which he eventually rescinded on May 10. He said it was a “political conspiracy that the deaths in nursing homes were preventable.”
Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who is a leader of a House subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, said in a letter to Cuomo last week that “[b]lame-shifting, name-calling and half-baked data manipulations will not make the facts or the questions they raise go away.”
On Monday, Cuomo released a poster at his press conference that celebrates his response to the coronavirus.
New York ended up being the epicenter of the coronavirus and totaled over 32,000 deaths.
The new poster is cynically topped with a statement by Cuomo, “Wake Up America! Forget the Politics, Get Smart!”
According to Worldometer data, New York has among the worst coronavirus numbers in the world, with 1,668 deaths per one million residents. There is not a single country in the world that has worse numbers than Cuomo’s New York. Only New Jersey had a worse number, with 1,760 deaths per one million residents.