October 2, 2020 | 8:21pm
Gov Andrew Cuomo is rewriting his health department’s order that nursing homes readmit COVID-19 patients.
Darren McGee- Office of Governor
ᐧGov. Cuomo just won’t let up on his nursing-home deceptions. Even as his minions refuse to share the true COVID-19 death total in nursing facilities — a figure plainly inflated by his health czar’s March 25 order that homes admit patients with the virus — he’s still pitching lies.
Asked by a radio host this week about families who blame the order for their loved ones’ deaths, he erupted: “That’s just incorrect, untrue and frankly it’s mean.”
Then the real chutzpah: “That situation never came to be in New York state, because we flattened the curve so effectively, we always had available hospital beds,” he insisted.
More: “And we never needed nursing home beds, because we always had hospital beds. So it just never happened in New York where we needed to say to a nursing home, ‘We need you to take this person even though they’re COVID-positive.’ It never happened.”
What bull. When the order went out, no one knew how bad things might get. Just as New York never wound up needing the thousands of ventilators it demanded (and got), hospitals never needed as many beds as they’d feared.
But the push was on to clear them. And the order did just that: Team Cuomo’s own July report admitted that more than 6,300 recovering COVID patients got sent to nursing homes. Fifty-eight nursing homes didn’t have a single case of the virus — in residents or staff — before their arrival.
And the state still refuses to say how many died after getting infected in a care home. The full count, including deaths after transfer to a hospital, is likely twice the 6,600-plus who died in the homes.
Lawmakers and others have been fighting to get the data — which Health Commissioner Howard Zucker admits he has — for months. Senate Health Committee Chairman Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) has a bipartisan bill to force out the info, though the gov’s allies may keep it bottled up.
The Empire Center filed a freedom-of-information request for the numbers back on Aug. 3. Nearly a month later came word they won’t be available until Nov. 5 — though the Health Department collects them daily.
Cuomo’s publisher just released the cover for his coming book, declaring: “Real leadership, he shows, requires clear communication, compassion for others and a commitment to truth-telling — no matter how frightening the facts may be.”
All true. Which makes the governor no real leader.