New York governor, Andrew Cuomo , has fallen from grace. Last year he was the media's darling, the Democratic Party's caring public face to Donald Trump's detachment with his hands-on approach to the Covid-19 pandemic in his state. This blog, however, was not impressed and back in May 2020 posted a critique about his callous policies towards the elderly in care-homes. Well, the chickens have truly come home to roost and Cuomo's political reputation has withered away. Cuomo now faces calls for his resignation, an investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors, and angry state legislators from his own Democratic party who want to strip him of the emergency powers they granted him during the pandemic.
Covid deaths in New York nursing homes which accounted for almost a third of the total death toll of about 46,000. Cuomo directed nursing homes to accept patients back from hospital who were infected or might be infected with coronavirus. The homes had to admit anyone who was “medically stable” – no resident was to be denied readmission “solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of Covid-19”. The motivation behind the notice was clear – there was an “urgent need” to expand hospital capacity in order to meet the surge in Covid cases. In other words, free up hospital beds by getting older patients back to their nursing homes.
Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, had admitted to Democratic leaders in a conference call that the administration had withheld the true nursing home death toll from state lawmakers and the state revised its official tally from 8,500 to more than 15,000 deaths – making a mockery of Cuomo’s longstanding boast that his state had among the best records in the country with regard to nursing homes Covid fatalities.