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Cuomo has said Covid-19 in nursing homes is “fire through dry grass,” yet he insists nursing homes accept patients with active virus. How is Cuomo or anyone who forces nursing homes to accept infected persons not guilty of genocide or at least mass murder?

April 24, 2020

AP: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo…has described COVID-19 in nursing homes as “fire through dry grass.NY State is home to a third of the nation’s 10,217 virus deaths at nursing homes.…A Cuomo spokesman “vowed state officials were “going to get to the bottom” of the high death count in nursing homes, where Cuomo has said COVID-19 spreads “like fire through dry grass.””

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Nursing homes have ‘no right’ to reject coronavirus patients, Cuomo says,” NY Post, 4/23/20

4/23/20, Coronavirus patients admitted to Queens nursing home–with body bags,” NY Post, Gabrielle Fonrouge, Bernadette Hogan, Bruce Golding

“The first coronavirus patients admitted to a Queens nursing home under a controversial state mandate arrived along with some grim accessories–a supply of body bags, The Post has learned.

An executive at the facilitywhich was previously free of the…disease [which is deadly for the elderly]said the bags were in the shipment of personal protective equipment received the same day the home was forced to begin treating two people discharged from hospitals with COVID-19.

“My colleague noticed that one of the boxes was extremely heavy. Curious as to what could possibly be making that particular box so much heavier than the rest, he opened it,” the exec told The Post Thursday.

“The first two coronavirus patients were accompanied by five body bags.”

Within days, three of the bags were filled with the first of 30 residents who would die there after Gov. Cuomo’s Health Department handed down its March 25 directive that bars nursing homes from refusing to admit “medically stable” coronavirus patients, the exec said.

Like clockwork, the nursing home has received five body bags a week–every week–from city officials.

“Cuomo has blood on his hands. He really does. There’s no way to sugarcoat this,” the health care executive added. [Fine, but who will stop him? No one].

“Why in the world would you be sending coronavirus patients to a nursing home, where the most vulnerable population to this disease resides?”Since March 25, the Queens nursing home has admitted 17 patients from hospitals who tested positive for coronavirus….Those who have died passed away without a test or while awaiting the results from one.

“The rest of the people are dropping like flies–literally like flies–and most of them have been with us for years,the exec added.

COVID-19 has killed at least 3,540 residents of New York’s nursing homes and adult care facilities as of Wednesday, according to the most recent state Health Department data.

The Queens story is painfully repeating at a Manhattan nursing home.

Administrators there told The Post they’ve also received body bags in weekly shipments of supplies, which City Hall confirmed the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene was distributing to nursing homes.

One of the Manhattan administrators said the state’s admission mandate came with no warning or even time to prepare facilities for an influx of coronavirus patients, who the state says must be quarantined inside nursing homes and treated by separate staffers.

“By the time I even got to the work the next day, I had phone calls, emails from just about every hospital in the area,” the administrator said. Previously, the person added, the facility had required “two negative test results before we’d even consider taking someone into the building.

Officials at both nursing homes declined to have their names published because they feared retribution from Cuomo, who regulates them. The Post reviewed emails, state regulatory orders, other public documents and spoke to five employees across the two facilities to confirm their stories.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi called the “blood on his hands” comment about the governor “disgusting” and accused nursing home operators of “trying to deflect from their failures.”

He vowed state officials were “going to get to the bottom” of the high death count in nursing homes, where Cuomo has said COVID-19 spreads “like fire through dry grass.”

Earlier, Cuomo said that if a nursing home can’t properly quarantine and treat the patients they were supposed to move them to other facilities or ask the Health Dept. to arrange a transfer.

But the March 25 mandate does not detail how and state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said he was not aware that DOH had received any transfer requests….

Cuomo also doubled down on his remark a day earlier that “it’s not our job” to provide nursing homes with personal protective equipment, saying, “We have given them thousands and thousands of PPE.”

“It’s their primary responsibility like it’s a hospital’s primary responsibility. And hospitals ran into problems, nursing homes ran into problems.”

“This is a national story, right? Turn on the national news any given time, and you have people saying ‘We can’t get enough PPE,’ right?” he added.

A member of Cuomo’s Coronavirus Task Force — SUNY-Empire State College President Jim Malatras — said the state had distributed 417,000 surgical grade masks, 101,000 gowns, 85,000 face shields, 422,000 gloves and 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to nursing homes over the last two weeks.”

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Added: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has described COVID-19 in nursing homes as “fire through dry grass.””...New York State is “the leader in nursing home deaths.....Per AP,  NY State is home to a third of the nation’s 10,217 virus deaths at nursing homes.

4/23/20, “Nursing homes plead for more coronavirus tests, AP, New York

After two months and more than 10,000 deaths that have made the nation’s nursing homes some of the most terrifying places to be during the coronavirus crisis, most of them still don’t have access to enough tests to help control outbreaks among their frail, elderly residents.

Neither the federal government nor the leader in nursing home deaths, New York, has mandated testing for all residents and staff. An industry group says only about a third of the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes have ready access to tests that can help isolate the sick and stop the spread. And homes that do manage to get a hold of tests often rely on luck and contacts.

“It just shows that the longer that states lapse in universal testing of all residents and staff, we’re going to see these kinds of stories for a very long time,” said Brian Lee of the advocacy group Families for Better Care. Once it’s [the virus] in, there’s no stopping it and by the time you’re aware with testing, too many people have it. And bodies keep piling up.”

That became clear in some of the nation’s biggest nursing home outbreaks. After a home in New York City’s Brooklyn borough reported 55 coronavirus deaths last week, its CEO acknowledged it was based entirely on symptoms and educated guesses the dead had COVID-19 because they were unable to actually test any of the residents or staff.

At a nursing home in suburban Richmond, Virginia, that has so far seen 49 deaths, the medical director said testing of all residents was delayed nearly two weeks because of a shortage of testing supplies and bureaucratic requirements. By the time they did, the spread was out of control, with 92 residents positive.

Mark Parkinson, CEO of the American Health Care Association, which represents long-term care facilities, says “only a very small percentage” of residents and staff have been tested because the federal and state governments have not made nursing homes the top priority.

“We feel like we’ve been ignored,” Parkinson said. “Certainly now that the emphasis has gone away from hospitals to where the real battle is taking place in nursing homes, we should be at a priority level one.”

Two-thirds of U.S. nursing homes still don’t have “easy access to test kits and are struggling to obtain sufficient resources, said Chris Laxton, executive director of The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

“Those nursing home leaders who have developed good relationships with their local hospitals and health departments seem to have better luck,” said Laxton, whose organization represents more than 50,000 long-term care professionals. “Those that are not at the table must fend for themselves.”

Public health officials have long argued that current measures like temperature checks aren’t sufficient. They can’t stop workers with the virus who aren’t showing signs from walking in the front door, and they don’t catch such asymptomatic carriers among residents either. What is needed is rigorous and frequent testing — “sentinel surveillance,” White House virus chief Deborah Birx calls it — to find these hidden carriers, isolate them and stop the spread.

The U.S. is currently testing roughly 150,000 people daily, for a total of 4.5 million results reported, according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project. Public health experts say that needs to be much higher. “We need likely millions of tests a day,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

The federal Health & Human Services Department told The Associated Press that ”there are plenty of tests and capability for all[obviously this isn’t true as this article and others document, the US simply has few if any tests: “C.D.C. Labs Were Contaminated, Delaying Coronavirus Testing, Officials Say,NY Times, Sheila Kaplan, 4/18/20. US purchased tests that were contaminated with virus and sent the diseased tests out to facilities across the country, adding another month to our imprisonment] priority categories and that all should be tested. The agency noted that federal help has been dispatched to some nursing homes.

Only one governor, West Virginia’s Jim Justice, appears to be mandating testing for all nursing homes without conditions. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan ordered tests at all 26 nursing in the city, using new kits that can spew out results in 15 minutes. Massachusetts abruptly halted a program to send test kits directly to nursing homes this week after 4,000 of them turned out to be faulty. New Hampshire teamed with an urgent-care company to test care workers. Several states including Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Tennessee and Wisconsin have dispatched National Guard testing strike teams….

While the federal government promised this week to start tracking and publicly releasing nursing home infections and deaths, which could help identify hotspots, that work was only beginning. In the meantime, The AP’s own tally from state health departments and media reports put the count at 10,217 deaths from outbreaks in nursing homes and long-term care facilities nationwide. About a third of those are in New York.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has described COVID-19 in nursing homes as “fire through dry grass, said he would ideally like to see any resident, staffer or visitor seeking to enter a nursing home take a rapid test that would come back in 20 minutes. But, he said, “that’s millions of tests.”

Dr. Roy Goldberg, medical director of a nursing home in New York City’s Bronx borough that this past week reported 45 deaths, said his facility still can’t test asymptomatic patients because of shortages that have limited testing to those showing fever or a cough.

“This isn’t what anyone signed up for,” Goldberg said. “It just breaks my heart that the long-term care industry is going to end up being totally scapegoated on this.”…

Their plans for testing at 19 such facilities are aimed at trying to head off hotspots by quickly identifying and containing cases. In conjunction with ramped-up capacity for tracing contacts of patients, it’s considered an important prerequisite to reopening he economy.” [Since the US needs at least 500 million working test kits immediately to begin to satisfy that “prerequisite,” obviously the economy will remain “closed” for a few years].

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