A new report by the New York State Bar Association found that an early in the pandemic nursing home order exponentially increased COVID deaths, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo claims that the policy was not to blame were false.
A sixteen-member task force compiled a 242-page report on Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care that found the Department of Health’s “unreasonable” mandate to admit coronavirus patients into the facilities led to deaths of the state’s most vulnerable population, and Cuomo should have reversed the decision much sooner.
The DOH directive required nursing homes to admit medically stable coronavirus patients that had been discharged from hospitals, and overrode regulations that facilities could only accept patients they could properly care for.
“Although a determination of the number of additional nursing home deaths is beyond the capacity of the Task Force, there are credible reviews that suggest that the directive, for the approximately six weeks, that it was in effect, did lead to some number of additional deaths,” the report states.
“The Department of Health issued a report in 2020 in which it argued unconvincingly that the admission of 6,326 COVID-positive residents during the period the Health directive was in effect had no impact. That cannot be the case, and has now been shown not to be the case.”
The NYSABA report further details that the “now infamous” order was “central to the public narrative of New York’s first surge experience,” and it “drew almost immediate criticism, caused the Governor to lash out at nursing homes, spurred a congressional inquiry, and, ultimately, an investigation of the Governor himself.”
The report was adopted by NYSBA’s House of Delegates when 93% of the 200 members present voted in favor on Saturday.
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