COVID-19 discharges to NY nursing homes questioned further

AUDIO: Hear Gov. Cuomo's response

WBEN Newsroom
May 24, 2020 - 9:26 am
nursing home patient

Nursing home patient/Getty Images

Albany, N.Y. (WBEN/AP) - New York State's handling of nursing home patients and COVID-19 continues to be called into question and Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state administration insist they were only following protocols issued by the federal government in allowing COVID-19 positive patients be admitted into nursing home facilities.

Meanwhile Cuomo’s administration claimed incorrectly Saturday that it has released all the information it has in regard to an Associated Press request for the number of COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals to nursing homes.

The AP compiled its own tally of the number of such patients discharged under a controversial order after the state Health Department refused to release an internal survey it conducted two weeks ago. The AP counted more than 4,500 recovering coronavirus patients sent to nursing homes.

But at Cuomo’s news briefing Saturday, aide Melissa DeRosa answered an AP reporter’s question about the internal survey by saying there isn’t “any information we have that we haven’t released at this point.”

The AP has not received the results of the survey, which it first requested May 15.

Cuomo again deflected criticism for the since-rescinded directive that required nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients. The March 25 order had been intended to help free up hospital beds for the sickest patients as cases surged, but critics have said it fueled deadly outbreaks among the state’s most vulnerable population.

“We’re in a political environment, I get it,” Cuomo said Saturday, insisting his administration followed U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. “To the extent people want to politicize this issue ... New York followed the president’s agency’s guidance. So that depoliticizes it. What New York did was follow what the Republican administration said to do.”

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