Fox News contributor Lawrence Jones spoke to New Yorkers this week about Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jones said on “Hannity» that while many liberal observes have praised Cuomo’s response, the governor’s constituents have been less kind, especially regarding the state’s policy of ordering nursing homes to admit discharged hospital patients who tested positive for COVID-19.
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Long Island resident Jeff Weber told Jones that “nursing home clientele are frail.”
“Some of these people, like my mother, she died alone and I find that unconscionable,» he said. «There was a lockdown put on visitation and, additionally, right up until the time she passed, our contact wasn’t what it was used to being.»
Weber added that he holds Cuomo responsible for his mother’s death.
“[He said] ‘My mother is not expendable. Your mother is not expendable,’ and I get the sense that maybe my mother was expendable,» he told Jones, «and I find that horrendous.»
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In March, when New York state limited nursing home visits to those that were «medically necessary,» Lorry Sullivan told her mother that she would be back in two weeks.
«She wanted to know, ‘What date was that?'» Sullivan told Jones. «I said the 25th, so, my mother was looking forward to that date.
«When I heard, that day [the 25th], the executive order that he [Cuomo] put out, I could not believe it,» Sullivan went on. «Because that was the day we thought we were all going to be back in. They told us two weeks. So, when they opened the doors in two weeks, they opened the doors to COVID, not family and it just seeded the entire wing where my mother was and I don’t think anybody survived in that wing.»
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Sullivan added that she puts a lot of the blame for New York’s nursing home disaster on the governor.
“He had the homes take in COVID patients,» she said. «They just took the COVID-19 patients and put them in with the quarantined patients. It made no sense.»
Cuomo claimed Saturday that New York’s original nursing home policy was in line with a March 13 directive from CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that says «nursing homes should admit any individuals that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present.»
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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma fired back at Cuomo Wednesday, telling «The Brian Kilmeade Show» on Fox News Radio that neither she nor Trump instructed governors to place infected patients back in their original nursing home setting.
«President Trump took very early actions when it came to nursing homes,» Verma said. «We prohibited visitors [and] put out guidance to both nursing homes and states.»
As of Thursday, New York state officials reported that 6,062 residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities had died of COVID-19. However, that tally does not include deaths that occurred outside of nursing homes or long-term care facilities, such as at a hospital.