The Cuomo administration ignored county official’s pleas for COVID-19 tests for nursing homes during the height of the pandemic, according to Fox News.
In nursing homes, in particular, thousands of residents died of confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus.
“I’m furious because testing of the most vulnerable population should be the absolute priority and a simple request,” Jack Wheeler said. “But [that] high-level, connected people had that luxury when we couldn’t even get people in the nursing homes tested is just infuriating.”
“I knew where there might be some extra test kits in counties where they could afford to spare them, so I met them to pick up the kits at various drop-offs,” Acquario said. “[Wheeler] and his county attorney reached out to me in despair and desperation. They were truly in a crisis.”
“It was up to eight hours of driving, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
“Those nursing homes were raging with positive cases and deaths and the purpose of universal swabbing of both residents and staff was to identify positive cases, isolate the positive staff and … get the positive residents cohorted together to prevent further spread,” said Smith.
“We had to beg, borrow, and steal basically and were able to get test kits from other counties,” she continued. “Now knowing [that] what limited supply there was was being hoarded now for friends and family — it’s criminal. It’s just really hard to understand.”
“In the absence of any real federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State stepped forward and from the very beginning did everything we could to protect our most vulnerable population,” said spokesman Jonah Bruno. “Anyone can attempt to rewrite history or rehash out of context conversations a year later, but that doesn’t change the facts.
“New York State created the best testing infrastructure in the world, which tested every resident, in each of the state’s 613 nursing homes by the first week in June, and continues to support nursing home staff and more recently visitor testing, by providing facilities more than 1.1 million rapid tests.”
From Fox News:
The governor handed down that directive as he quietly issued a partial reversal of an infamous March 25 mandate forbidding nursing homes from turning away residents on the sole basis of a coronavirus diagnosis.
The March order, which took effect even as Cuomo publicly acknowledged COVID-19’s threat to seniors, has dogged the governor throughout the pandemic.
Also at issue is the administration’s accounting of the sky-high death tolls in nursing homes.
A damning report issued in January by state Attorney General Letitia James found that the administration may have underreported the number of coronavirus deaths among nursing home residents by as much as 50 percent.
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And the next month, top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa was caught on an audio recording admitting to top state Democrats that the administration obscured the true toll because it feared a federal probe.