New York governor Andrew Cuomo in his new memoir blames conservatives and right-wing media for the controversy over coronavirus outbreaks in the state’s nursing homes.
Around 6,700 nursing home residents in New York were known to have died of COVID-19. However, if a nursing home resident dies in a hospital, the state does not record that casualty as a “nursing home” death.
This has led to speculation that coronavirus deaths among New York nursing home residents is higher than reported. A June analysis by the Empire Center, an Albany-based think tank, found that it was more likely that 10,000 nursing home residents had died of COVID-19 up to that time.
Critics have charged that New York’s outbreak was worsened by a March 25 executive order, signed by Governor Cuomo and approved by New York health commissioner Howard Zucker, requiring nursing homes to readmit residents even if they were infected with coronavirus. Cuomo has repeatedly dismissed concerns about the executive order.
“On April 25, conservative columnist Michael Goodwin published a piece in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post aimed at New York with the headline, ‘State lacked common sense in nursing homes’ coronavirus approach,’” Cuomo wrote in his memoir, titled American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. “It was an orchestrated strategy and a Fox News drumbeat.”
Cuomo said that other governors had also been blamed for outbreaks in nursing homes.
“Phil Murphy in New Jersey, Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, Gavin Newsom in California and Tom Wolf in Pennsylvania were all in the Republican crosshairs on nursing homes,” the governor wrote.
However, Cuomo did not mention that states including Florida and Louisiana took steps to keep coronavirus patients out of nursing homes to avoid new outbreaks.
Cuomo’s memoir was released on Tuesday, October 13, as coronavirus spread has ticked up in New York for the first time in several months.
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