The report followed a months-long investigation by the office into the handling of the pandemic at nursing homes.
In addition, the report cited “a lack of compliance with infection control protocols” at nursing homes, as well as other problems such as a lack of both personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing for residents and staff.
All these problems placed residents “at increased risk of harm,” the investigation found.
The report also said that, due to Gov. Cuomo’s order in March requiring nursing homes to accept recovering COVID patients from hospitals, vulnerable nursing home residents may have been put at greater risk of contracting the virus.
“Government guidance requiring the admission of COVID-19 patients into nursing homes may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities and may have obscured the data available to assess that risk,” the report stated. Cuomo's administration issued this guidance in March.
By his actions, Cuomo treated the state’s nursing home population as “expendable” and “essentially a dumping ground” for patients with active or suspected COVID cases, Camosy said. “And when he was caught, he lied about it.”
James said in a statement, “As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate.”
“While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents,” James said.
“Nursing homes residents and workers deserve to live and work in safe environments, and I will continue to work hard to safeguard this basic right during this precarious time,” she said.
Camosy connected the story to “the upcoming infrastructure bill,” saying that the proposed legislation presents an opportunity to discuss appropriate elder care:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Looks like eldercare is going to become something very different from what it is now whether we like it out not. The only question is what it becomes and how we shape it. <a href="https://t.co/nUk6XErdix">https://t.co/nUk6XErdix</a><br><br>I just don't know how this can't be a focus of the coming infrastructure bill.</p>— Charlie Camosy (@CCamosy) <a href="https://twitter.com/CCamosy/status/1354805958963122180?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 28, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Cuomo was awarded an International Emmy Founders Award last year for “leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and his masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world.” The International Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences had recognized him for the award.
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