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New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio is one of the most ghoulish politicians in America. This latest appearance discussing nursing homes is yet another example:
.@NYCMayor De Blasio on nursing homes: "A lot of these are for-profit organizations. I think there’s going to be a lot of questions about whether they put their residents first or whether they put profit first" pic.twitter.com/KfPZNAXH0d
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 6, 2020
Yesterday, New York State announced an additional, previously undisclosed 1,700 deaths in the state’s nursing homes. Writing for the New York Post Michael Goodwin explains,
Two weeks ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was first asked about his policy that forced nursing homes to admit patients infected with the coronavirus.
“That’s a good question, I don’t know,” the governor answered, turning to an aide.
On Tuesday, Cuomo was asked about a report from the Associated Press that his team had added more than 1,700 deaths to the count of those who died in nursing homes, bringing the total to at least 4,813.
“I don’t know the details, frankly,” the governor answered, turning to an aide.
The March 25 order that forced infected patients on them allows for no exceptions and has not been changed.
The killer fifth paragraph still reads: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. NHs are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”
Owners and managers said Tuesday they are not aware of any loosening of the policy. They also say that hospitals still are referring infected patients to them on a near-daily basis and they are expected to take them if they have an empty bed.
To them, the March 25 order was a death sentence. Some facilities say they had no deaths or even positive patients before that date, but many of both since, including among staff members.
Recall, too, the experience of Donny Tuchman, CEO of Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill Health Center. On April 24, when his facility already had lost 55 patients, he showed reporters email exchanges with the Department of Health where he got no help when he asked for relief. Even his request to have some of the COVID-19 patients sent to the Javits Center or the Navy ship Comfort, both of which were well below capacity, was rejected.
As the Post front-page headline said the next day, “THEY KNEW,” meaning the state could no longer pretend it had no idea of the chaos it inflicted on nursing homes.
Cuomo, in response, has constructed an evolving litany of self-defenses, once coldly asserting it was “not our job” to help the homes get protective equipment for their staffs, even as other officials said the equipment was being provided. His office claimed the state policy mirrored federal policy, which, as the AP noted in its report, isn’t true. The feds never mandated that nursing homes be forced to accept COVID-19 patients.
The story in New Jersey is no different. While we were being told that every life is sacred, officials in both New York and New Jersey were moving nursing home patients out of hospitals to free up beds for the more important patients, and in the process, spreading the virus throughout the nursing home systems.
In California, experts were sounding the alarm on deaf ears,
Even as senior care centers have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus — with patient and staff deaths accounting for nearly 40 percent of all COVID-19 deaths across California — the state is calling on assisted living facilities to house infected patients in exchange for money.
A letter from the state Department of Social Services sent to licensees of senior and adult care residential facilities on Friday urged them to temporarily take in patients who have tested positive for the virus — for up to $1,000 a day — to make room in hospitals for people who become critically ill and require acute care.
But health experts and advocates say the plan risks introducing the virus into facilities that have been spared or those already dealing with their own outbreaks.
The majority of deaths in this country have been in nursing homes, and public policy is being set on the total number of deaths, despite the fact that nursing homes were turned into death traps by public officials.
Will there be a reckoning? It doesn’t appear likely.
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) May 6, 2020