New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo deflected criticism over state nursing home COVID-19 deaths, accusing Republicans of politicizing the issue that was exacerbated by his own policies, Mediaite reported.
More than 6,000 nursing home workers and residents have died of COVID-19, many of them while Cuomo had a policy in place requiring nursing homes to readmit residents who had tested positive for the virus — forcing many infected people into enclosed areas with other high-risk individuals.
Cuomo was asked during a radio interview whether heavy criticism from media about the nursing home policy caused him to admit to himself that he made some mistakes. Cuomo instead criticized Republican congresspeople for only targeting Democratic governors for criticism, and blamed much of the criticism on “pro-Trump propaganda.”
“No. The nursing home is an unfortunate situation on two levels. Number one, people in nursing homes died,” Cuomo responded. “The nursing home [issue] is pure politics. The Republicans in Congress, they think there’s a vulnerability. … It’s all politics. That’s what makes it terrible. Because you’re talking about death. And people who are suffering with the death of a loved one. And then you want to politicize this — at this time?”
Cuomo also deflected to shortcomings in the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“On the facts, it’s just so wrong what they’re saying on so many levels,” Cuomo said.
“They don’t want to talk about the what the federal government did on the Covid, so they want to attack the Democrats for nursing home deaths,” he added. “It’s the same M.O., just distract, create a shiny object to take your attention off what they don’t want you to focus on. They don’t want to talk about the federal government’s response, or lack of response.”
In addition to the official number of New York nursing home deaths, there is an untold number of nursing home residents who died at or on the way to the hospital who are not included in that tally.