Even as families could no longer see their loved ones in nursing homes across the country, Governor Andrew Cuomo was forcing nursing homes and assisted living facilities to admit COVID-positive patients. It did not matter to the governor that medical professionals repeatedly told him it was a horrible idea. For many months, the state counted the deaths as hospital deaths instead of counting them as long-term care facility deaths. While Cuomo seemed to be the media’s favorite governor during the beginning days of the pandemic, many are now calling for a full investigation into this policy, including New York’s Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
15,000 Die in New York Nursing Homes After Being Forced to Admit COVID-Positive Residents
In January, New York was claiming that only 8,500 residents of long-term-care facilities had died of COVID. Then, New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, conducted a full investigation. In the end, Cuomo had to admit that 15,000 residents had died.
Governor Accepts Blame for Undercounting
The governor held a 90-minute press conference on Feb. 19, 2021, to defend his position. During the meeting, the governor accepted blame for the undercounting. He says that the lack of transparency created room for conspiracy theories. Cuomo’s defense tactic is to try to reframe the discussion even while thousands of family members are hurting because of the decision he made to put COVID patients in nursing homes.
While some might hope that the legacy media would help demand a full investigation of the harm caused by Cuomo’s policy that went against the advice given at the time by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, it seems that the media may be giving Cuomo an easy pass. They spent 400% more airtime discussing Ted Cruz’s trip to Cancun while Texas was dealing with a significant winter storm than they did trying to make Cuomo answer tough questions.