New York Governor Andrew Cuomo echoed his claim that the criticism he has received for coronavirus deaths in nursing homes is nothing more than political, but he repeatedly avoided the question of whether senior centers in his state are safe or not.
Cuomo has received scathing criticism for its early order requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients who had been discharged from hospitals, effectively placing them in the same facilities that house the demographic group most vulnerable to the virus. When asked by NBC News’s Chuck Todd if the facilities are now safe for the elderly, Cuomo immediately responded to the criticism rather than answering the question.
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“I have taken political heat, it’s fine. There are facts and then there is politics, “Cuomo said Sunday in” Meet the Press. “He then blamed the cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes for” staff who got infected and brought him in, “rather than patients who infected to other patients.
Then Todd asked again if the facility was safe, and Cuomo did not give a direct answer, but cautioned that older people “have to be careful” anywhere.
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“They are so safe, well, in this state we are evaluating every nursing home employee every week,” he said. Therefore, I could argue that they are safer than an older person in the home who receives care at home. The safest environment? My mother? Stay home, don’t see anyone. If you are at home and have an assistant entering, that assistant is not tested. In a nursing home, staff is being evaluated once a week. And older people have to be careful, wherever they are “
Earlier in the interview, Cuomo took credit for New York’s decline in COVID-19 numbers, while other states are seeing spikes. He accused the federal government of “denying the problem” and of telling state officials: “You are alone.”
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He then said New York devised its own plan, even though the CDC released a detailed plan for states to reopen in phases. Cuomo said the CDC guidelines were “vague” and that “I don’t even know what they meant.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.