New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) “alone is to blame” for his decision to force nursing home providers to accept COVID-19 patients, according to a White House official.
“His reckless response did not follow [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines, devastating the senior population — and no amount of revisionist history can erase Governor Cuomo’s grossly incompetent decisions,” Hogan Gidley, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary, said in a statement.
New York later reversed the controversial policy. The governor, in the past, has stated that the policy was in accord with directives from CMS and CDC, saying all the state did was “follow what the Republican administration said to do.”
Cuomo, along with several other governors, have declined to respond to a request by the several members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis asking them to explain the policies for nursing homes during the pandemic.
More than 6,000 deaths have been reported in New York nursing homes during the course of the pandemic. Cuomo said the policy “wasn’t a mistake” and followed federal guidance at the time during an MSNBC interview Tuesday. He also attributed the heavy toll on nursing home staff members who unknowingly brought the disease into work.
“What all the data says is the reason you had infections in the nursing homes were because the staff brought in the infections. And you look at the communities that had the high infection rate overall, those were communities that had nursing homes with the high infection rate,” Cuomo said.
“It is that the staff got infected, they came to work, and they brought in the infection,” he added.