In New York, over 4,300 recovering COVID-19 patients were sent to nursing homes and adult care facilities under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s orders. More than 5,800 deaths have occurred in those homes. Under Cuomo’s order, it was stated that ”no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the (nursing home) solely based” on COVID-19. He has since reversed his March decision to send patients to homes once they tested positive, after receiving much criticism. One care home received 58 recovering COVID patients, causing the virus to spread within the home where 47 people eventually died.
“We can’t draw a straight line from bringing in someone positive to someone catching the disease, but we’re talking about elderly, fragile and vulnerable residents,” said one man. It was reported that one nursing home CEO’s requests that patients be sent to a different facility or the Navy ships were denied. Another nursing home was sent body bags by health officials as part of their “equipment.”
“The fact we maintained and pushed Covid-positive patients into facilities that were not equipped to handle them, it was a fatal error,”New York State Assembly member Ron Kim (D)
Another Democrat and Assembly Chair for the health committee, Richard Gottfried called for an independent investigation into the matter. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R) has called for the same. An executive at one home asked the question, “Why in the world would you be sending coronavirus patients to a nursing home, where the most vulnerable population to this disease resides?”
Those in defense of Cuomo say that he was following recommendations made by President Trump. They also note that his move was in an effort to protect hospitals from being overrun. Cuomo said that his top priority was keeping the hospitals from being overrun, and stated “That’s what we protected against, and we did it successfully.” He also stated that homes “were not to accept patients they couldn’t take care of.”