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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has reversed course on his earlier decision to mandate that nursing homes admit elderly patients who have been discharged from hospitals and are recovering from the COVID-19 coronavirus.
His decision to require nursing homes to accept these patients has been widely criticized since he made the March 25 directive, which has now been deleted from government websites.
In fact, Cuomo denied making this mandate to the point where the information has been deleted from government sites altogether.
The March 25 directive (below) is available to click when it is searched, but only provides a page that appears to have been taken down at some point.
OAN's Jack Posobiec captured this mandate beforehand and posted it to Twitter after it was discovered that it was no longer available to the public to search.
“The way this has been handled by the state is totally irresponsible, negligent and stupid,” said Elaine Mazzotta, a nurse whose mother died last month of suspected COVID-19 in a Long Island nursing home. “They knew better. They shouldn’t have sent these people into nursing homes."
What Mazzotta is referencing is Cuomo’s mandate to require nursing homes to accept former residents and new ones who have tested positive for COVID-19. The repercussions of the mandate has accelerated the spread of the virus in locations that house the most vulnerable people in the community.
“The numbers, the deaths keep ticking up," said MaryDel Wypych, an advocate for older adults in Rochester. “It's just very frustrating.”
Cuomo has back-pedalled in the face of the backlash he has received since the mandate was released. “We’ve tried everything to keep it out of a nursing home, but it’s virtually impossible,” Cuomo told reporters. “Now is not the best time to put your mother in a nursing home. That is a fact.”
In addition, Cuomo faced more criticism at a recent briefing for saying that providing masks and gowns to nursing homes across the state was “not our job” because the homes are privately owned.
“They should have announced to the public: ‘We have a problem in nursing homes. We’re going to help them, but you need to know where it is,’” said former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, a Republican who heads the nonprofit Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. “Instead, they took the opposite tack: They hid it.”
One of the key criticisms is that New York took weeks after the first known home care outbreaks to begin publicly reporting on the number of deaths in individual homes, and still do not report the number of cases. By the time the state started disclosing the number of deaths in mid-April, the state had experienced several major outbreaks, with at least 40 deaths each.
There has been not only a lack of transparency, but an unwillingness on the part of Cuomo to admit that his March 25 mandate is responsible for an untold number of deaths.
New York has not yet required testing in its more than 1,150 nursing homes and long-term care facilities.