It’s long been known that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home policy directly led to many thousands of completely preventable deaths from COVID-19.
No matter how the media has scrambled to lie, obfuscate and cover up this shameful and embarrassing fact about Cuomo’s COVID response — and no matter how often he has tried to deflect responsibility for it by blaming the federal government — it remains the case that New York has the highest per capita nursing home death rate in the world because of his policies.
Recently, New York Attorney General Letitia James has released a report confirming what many already suspected: The state was heavily understating and underreporting these deaths.
The total number of nursing home deaths attributable to Cuomo’s orders may be as high as 13,000, or about 50% higher than what the state originally claimed it was.
But that’s not all. Now, Cuomo is in hot water again. A New York Supreme Court judge says that he may well have illegally withheld information about the true results of his nursing home policies.
Shameful Lying and Criminality by the Cuomo Regime
To recap, the New York Department of Health, under orders from Cuomo, made the insane decision to force nursing homes to admit COVID-positive patients back from hospitals, even before they had fully recovered. The elderly and infirm, of course, are far and away at the highest risk of either death or serious complications from the virus.
Health experts in the Cuomo administration had been resigning in droves for months and have recently gone public with bitter complaints that Cuomo had been blatantly ignoring their advice. Instead, he had been embracing hospitals and tailoring his coronavirus response policy to favor them, even at the cost of reduced efficiency and lost lives. Cuomo even signed a bill into law that protects hospital and nursing home executives from legal liability for anything that happens during the pandemic.
The General New York Hospital Association, a powerful New York-based hospital lobbying group, has funneled about $2.3 to both Cuomo and the New York Democratic Party.
Moreover, journalists who had been seeking statistics about New York’s true coronavirus death count and other important virus-related matters had been consistently rebuffed by the Cuomo Administration on many occasions. This, unsurprisingly, fueled suspicions that the governor and those around him had something to hide.
A Judge Responds
In the wake of this lunacy, and especially in the wake of the New York AG’s report, Albany Supreme Court Justice Kimberly O’Connor issued a vituperative 16-page decision in which she excoriated Cuomo for his nursing home policies, especially for his decision not to release data about nursing home patients who later died in hospitals.
O’Connor said, “DOH does not, in the Court’s opinion, offer an adequate explanation as to why it has not responded to that request within its estimated time period or to date.
Its continued failure to provide petitioner a response, given the straightforward nature of the request…goes against FOIL’s broad standard of open and transparent government and is a violation of that statute.”
O’Connor has given the Department of Health five business days to comply with all records requests.