‘Older people, vulnerable people are going to die from this virus. That is going to happen despite whatever you do…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo refused to take responsibility for his March 25 policy forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients during a press briefing on Sunday, arguing that “older people are going to die from this virus” regardless.
Cuomo reversed his nursing-home policy last week after facing heavy criticism—but not before thousands of New Yorkers had died within the long-term care facilities.
Health experts warned last week that that number is probably much higher, since New York stopped counting the deaths of nursing home residents who died from COVID-19 patients outside of the homes.
When confronted about these failures, Cuomo argued that nobody should be held accountable for these deaths.
“What is justice? Who can we prosecute for those deaths? Nobody. Nobody. Mother nature. God. Where did this virus come from? People are going to die by this virus. That is the truth,” he said, according to CBS News.
“Older people, vulnerable people are going to die from this virus. That is going to happen despite whatever you do. Because with all our progress as a society, we can’t keep everyone alive.”
Cuomo later walked back his comments, assuring New Yorkers that “protecting our nursing homes and our seniors has been a top priority.” But he still refused to admit that his March 25 policy was a mistake.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., called for a federal investigation into Cuomo’s “failed nursing home policies.”
A few New York Democrats have also joined the call for an independent investigation, demanding that Cuomo own up to his failures.
“The governor’s flip-flopping policies on nursing homes must be held accountable,” Democratic state Rep. Ron Kim said in a statement, according to Newsday.
“We live in a democracy where no one person should raise their hands and say, ‘We did our best’ and diminish any calls for independent oversight hearings after more than 5,000 vulnerable seniors died,” Kim said.
Cuomo’s nursing-home policy is just the latest example of his incoherent messaging. He has accused the federal government of refusing to help New York, while also crediting the Trump administration for the “great job” it has done.
And he has insisted that the coronavirus shutdown is necessary so long as it saves “just one life,” just to turn around and implement a policy that turned the state’s nursing homes into virus breeding grounds.
This is an “inexcusable tragedy” for New York, Stefanik said: “NEED ANSWERS.”