The New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who ordered nursing homes to take patients from hospitals without testing them for the coronavirus, is now blaming the more than 5,000 nursing home deaths in his state on Donald Trump.
This is not surprising given there are probably going to be a lot of investigations into how and why Cuomo threw a lit match into a gasoline dump by sending coronavirus-positive patients to live in close proximity to seniors who were virus-free.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday brushed off calls for the Department of Justice to open an investigation into the massive number of deaths in the state’s nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic – claiming he was only following guidelines from the Trump administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While no formal probe has been announced, the speculation comes amid scrutiny of his March 25 directive that required nursing homes to take on new patients infected with COVID-19. The order stated that “[nursing homes] are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”
Cuomo issued that directive about the time that liberals had come up with the idea that imposing a “virus stigma” on people was wrong and singling sick people out to get a test for coronavirus might hurt their feelings…or something.
What did the CDC guidelines actually say?
CDC guidelines require any newly admitted and readmitted resident with a COVID-19 case to be placed in a designated COVID-19 care unit, while those who have met the criteria to have recovered can return to a regular unit in the nursing home. New York – along with California and New Jersey – at the time had specific guidelines saying that nursing homes cannot refuse to take patients from hospitals solely because they have the coronavirus.
When questioned about the deaths in nursing homes and a possible investigation into his role, Cuomo deflected the blame onto the Trump administration’s guidelines and suggested the calls for a probe are politically motivated.
But Cuomo insists he was just following orders.
“This is a political season, I get it,” Cuomo said. “I’m not going to get into the political back-and-forth, but anyone who wants to ask why did the state do that with COVID patients in nursing homes, it’s because the state followed President Trump’s CDC guidance.”
Cuomo added: “They should ask President Trump. I think that will stop the conversation.”
A smug, self-righteous, arrogant SOB to be sure. But Cuomo is a politician and nothing bad — or catastrophic — is ever a politician’s fault.
Until it is.
Today I joined my @NewYorkGOP colleagues in the House to call for a federal investigation of Cuomo’s failed nursing home policies. NOW they admit they unethically changed the way they report nursing home deaths. An INEXCUSABLE tragedy for NY – NEED ANSWERShttps://t.co/pHY98zlTN2
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 15, 2020
The Great Debate is already underway with “experts” saying that there were so many thousands of needless deaths as those with 20/20 hindsight criticize this decision or that one. Leadership in a crisis is never perfect, and the argument “they should have seen this coming” is specious. It’s a political calculation, not reality.
The reality is that we’re human and humans make mistakes of omission and commission. Ultimately, that’s not really an excuse. Cuomo, Trump, other governors are all “responsible” whatever that means. You can’t blame others for your mistakes, even though they all try mightily to deflect accountability and refuse responsibility.
Still, there’s something inherently cowardly about not owning up to one’s actions. Few politicians have done so. Former President Obama can appear before a crowd and proclaim there were no scandals during his administration. Of course, there were. He just never took responsibility for them.
Cuomo should own up to his own role in the tragedy.