Reed Fuming Over Mandatory Nursing Home Testing

"The souls are not going to be lost on me"

Tom Puckett
May 29, 2020 - 4:00 am
Tom Reed

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Congressman Tom Reed says he wasn't pleased about Governor Cuomo's now rescinded executive order requiring nursing homes to admit COVID19 patients.

Now, as the nursing home death toll from COVID-19 has reached devastating levels, Reed is unhappy with Cuomo ordering COVID19 testing at nursing homes twice a week.

"I have not received one call in three years let alone this crisis. We have 6,800 dead seniors who are owed an explanation in memory of the deaths and their souls as to what happened with them," sas Reed. "The souls are not going to be lost on me. I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure their legacy is listened to with regards to what heppened to them as a result of a disastrous policy the governor issued."

Reed is now upset about Cuomo's new policy nursing homes must test for COVID19 twice a week.

"All the input we received on our call is that the testing is not based on science, data or best practices anywhere in the country," says Reed, who suggests something different. "We should have testing based on the prevalence of the virus in the community, that you tailor requirements so you have a baseline test so you can gauge the exposure among staff," notes Reed.

Reed says the twice a week testing proves "we are dealing with a show horse, not a work horse, and it's all about trying to publicly atone for the drastic decision that sent 6,800 of our seniors to die as a result of a reckless decision."

State Senator George Borrello says he had a proposal to help keep COVID19 patients out of nursing homes.

"We offered to reopen Lake Shore Hospital, which could have accepted at-risk folks, and this is not about partisan politics. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz brought it up in one of his news conferences. This is about what are you going to do to protect those vulnerable citizens," says Borrello. Borrello has one other question for the governor. "What's the end game? Are you going to assess a fine, so what's more important the testing or collecting a fine? Because there's no remedy aside from a fine," says Borrello.

Brooks Memorial Hospital CEO Mary LaRowe is also concerned about testing.

"Testing has been a debacle from the get go," says LaRowe. "We have a census of 16 patients in our medsurge unit, and there are 25 percent of those waiting to go back to the nursing home. They've had their testing, and it's taking two to five days for the results to come back." 

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