On Sunday May 10, Gov. Cuomo issued a new announcement that hospitals can no longer release coronavirus patients to nursing homes unless the patient first tests negative for the virus, indicating that they have recovered. This is a reversal from the original March 25 order which said nursing homes were “prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident… to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”
Radio talk show host Mark Levin was one of the first people to expose Gov. Cuomo’s March 25 directive, which The Daily Citizen previously reported on April 30. On March 26, a person who identified herself as Elaine called in to Levin’s program. As a physician at a long-term care facility in New York, Elaine said she and every other nursing home in the state had been ordered to accept COVID-19 positive patients from hospitals.
Elaine told Levin, “I wanted to bring your attention and to the listeners’ attention what is about to happen in New York with respect to nursing homes. The governor has ordered that all nursing homes must accept COVID positive patients who are actually and potentially still infectious into their facilities. And this will put our residents – our long-term population at risk.”
Levin responded incredulously, “Wait, wait, wait… are you pulling my leg? Seriously? Why would you send somebody who has this virus into a population [where it] can kill people?”
Along with Gov. Cuomo, New York Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker issued the original order.
The Daily Citizen also reported on May 5 that the state of New York had added an additional 1,700 deaths from CVOID-19 in nursing homes and adult care facilities to their death count which had previously gone unaccounted for.
It was clear at the beginning of the pandemic that the elderly population was especially at risk of dying due to COVID-19. The first widespread outbreak of coronavirus occurred at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington. Since becoming the epicenter for the outbreak in early March, at least 35 staff and residents have died at the care facility.
A graph recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows how the elderly are particularly vulnerable from the coronavirus. According to the CDC, those ages 24 years and younger have less that one death per one million people due to COVID-19. However, those ages 75-84 have 662 deaths per one million people, and people older than 85-years-old have 1,750 deaths per one million people.
“Zucker and company should have focused on policing and assisting nursing homes and adult-care facilities from the start — rather than issuing edicts that led to repeated and needless tragedies,” an editorial in the New York Post concluded.
Since it was clear from the beginning of the pandemic that the elderly were especially at risk, why did Gov. Cuomo order nursing homes to accept patients with COVID-19?
Do you think nursing homes should have been the main target of lockdown orders to prevent the coronavirus from impacting those facilities and the elderly already there?
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