‘They should ask President Trump. I think that will stop the conversation…’
Now he’s arguing that President Donald Trump is responsible for the thousands of nursing home deaths in his state.
More than 5,000 New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus within the state’s nursing homes—though that number is likely much higher.
According to health experts, the state government has not been counting the deaths of COVID-19 patients who die outside of the facilities, even if they were nursing home residents.
When confronted about the policy failure recently, Cuomo waved off the death toll, arguing that vulnerable, elderly citizens were going to die anyway.
But after facing major backlash—and even having shade thrown his way by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio—Cuomo was forced, once again, to reverse his course on Wednesday, reported the New York Post.
“Anyone who wants to ask why did the state do that with COVID patients and nursing homes, it’s because the state followed President Trump’s CDC guidance,” Cuomo claimed during a press briefing. “So they should ask President Trump.”
Cuomo insisted that the CDC guidance required nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients, since nursing homes were not allowed to “discriminate” against coronavirus patients, according to the federal agency.
But this guidance did not mean that nursing homes had to care for and treat coronavirus patients within their facilities, thereby exposing other uninfected residents to the virus.
Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, for example, stongly discouraged nursing homes from accepting COVID-19 patients, instead pressuring hospitals to continue caring for them throughout the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
But this fact hasn’t stopped Cuomo from deflecting as much blame away from himself as possible—a familiar tactic that the governor has previously deployed on such matters as his state’s $2.3 billion budget shortfall.
“They should ask President Trump,” he repeated. “I think that will stop the conversation.”