Seema Verma, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator, told Breitbart that New York’s Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo and more Democrat governors originally issued guidance that contradicted federal guidelines for nursing homes battling the DISEASE THAT MAY NOT BE NAMED (DTMNBN-19) pandemic virus.
Remember when the smug Cuomo tried to blame his nursing homes fiasco on the Trump administration by claiming that the CDC said to put DTMNBN-19 patients in nursing homes? He lied.
“I just want to make it very clear that our guidance was absolutely crystal clear,” Verma said in an interview late last week. “It was clear and unmistakable. Any insinuation to the contrary is woefully mistaken at best and dishonest at worst. We put out our guidance on March 13. It’s very clear when it says that, I’m actually going to read this to you, it says that: ‘When should a nursing home accept a resident who is diagnosed with DTMNBN-19?’ It says: ‘A nursing home can accept a resident diagnosed with DTMNBN-19 and still under transmission-based precautions,’ which means if this person is infectious you have to take precautions. It says ‘as long as the facility can follow CDC guidance for transmission-based precautions.’ It says: ‘If a nursing home cannot, it must wait until these precautions are discontinued,’ meaning if you are not able to care for this patient—somebody is still positive and you’re not equipped to care for the patient, then you shouldn’t accept the patient into your care. That’s really important because longstanding discharge—when you’re discharging a patient from the hospital, longstanding guidelines require when you transfer them somewhere you transfer them to a place that can take care of their needs whether they’re going home or they’re going to a nursing home or some other facility.”
Verma added later that it’s “disingenuous” for Democrats such as Cuomo to say they were following federal guidelines when they weren’t.
“I think the most important thing though is I think it’s disingenuous to try to undermine the federal guidelines,” Verma said. “They were absolutely clear and nursing homes across the country adhered to those and that’s why we’ve seen at the vast majority of nursing homes. I just don’t think we should ever put a nursing home in a situation or a patient where we force them to take a patient they are not prepared to care for. That not only jeopardizes the patient but it jeopardizes the health and safety of every single resident in that nursing home.”
Cuomo’s orders, issued in late March and later rescinded in early May, contradicted federal guidance. Other Democrat governors, like Governor Wolf in Pennsylvania, also pushed flawed policies that they’ve since rescinded. The same happened with New Jersey’s Phil Murphy, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, California’s Gavin Newsom, and many others. The plans these Democrat governors and more put forward within the early days of the pandemic in the US pressured nursing homes to take DTMNBN-19 positive patients instead of keeping them at a hospital or elsewhere, which seems to have increased the spread and severity of the disease.
“The guidelines they put out, or the policy they put out, is in sharp contrast to exactly what we were saying,” Verma told Breitbart News. “Many of the nursing homes—we’re seeing this in the data—many of the nursing homes were ill-equipped to address some of the requirements around infectious disease control. They were struggling in terms of isolating patients. If you have a nursing home that has several floors, maybe you can isolate patients easily. Maybe they develop a DTMNBN-positive wing. Those were some of the things we were recommending to ensure isolation. But some facilities, they’re smaller and maybe they’ve got two people sharing a room who are sharing a bathroom with two other people. Obviously, isolation in those types of situations is going to be way more difficult. That’s why you’ve got to ensure that the patients’ needs can be taken care of. In New York, what they put out is in direct conflict with the federal guidelines.”
Cuomo received a lot of criticism in his state for the policies he forced onto unsuspecting nursing homes but then later rescinded. The Associated Press (AP) last week published a piece quoting among others Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) who in typical Democrat fashion tried to shift the blame away from his state’s Democrat governor and other Democrat governors to the Trump administration. “We need action,” Casey said in that story. ”We need a plan from CMS and we need resources to stop the spread of DTMNBN-19 in nursing homes.”
Then ProPublica published an in-depth investigation into a privately-run nursing home in Troy, New York, which adopted Cuomo’s guidance and contrasted that with a county-run nursing home in the same area that rebuked the state Democrat governor’s guidelines, and as an alternative followed federal guidance. The distinction was clear: The nursing home that listened to Cuomo was rocked by DTMNBN-19 and the one which adopted federal guidance and ignored Cuomo performed well and had barely any serious problems.
This is yet another example of how Democrats fail at governing and spend more time trying to shift blame to others than stepping up and admitting they screwed up. It’s the typical modus operandi for the Democratic Party.
The ProPublica piece starts by describing an April 3 meeting between a nurse at Diamond Hill nursing home in Troy and her bosses, where she was informed that the facility was accepting its first DTMNBN-19 patient back from an area hospital. “The risks to the home’s staff and other residents were obvious: The virus was ravaging nursing homes across the country,” ProPublica’s Joaquin Sapien and Joe Sexton reported. “But the week before, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his health commissioner, Howard Zucker, had all but made such discharges mandatory. If a hospital determined a patient who needed nursing home care was medically stable, the home had to accept them, even if they had been treated for DTMNBN-19. Moreover, the nursing home could not test any such prospective residents — those treated for DTMNBN-19 or those hospitalized for other reasons — to see if they were newly infected or perhaps still contagious despite their treatment. It was all laid out in a formal order, effective March 25. New York was the only state in the nation that barred testing of those being placed or returning to nursing homes.”
ProPublica’s reporters mentioned that the consequences of Cuomo’s order forcing nursing homes to take DTMNBN-19 patients had been significantly brutal. “In the weeks that followed the March 25 order, DTMNBN-19 tore through New York state’s nursing facilities, killing more than 6,000 people — about 6% of its more than 100,000 nursing home residents. In all, as many as 4,500 DTMNBN-19 infected patients were sent to nursing homes across the state, according to a count conducted by The Associated Press,” they wrote they wrote.
At this facility profiled by ProPublica, Diamond Hill nursing home in Troy with 120 beds, by June, 18 residents living there had died from the pandemic virus. 58 people were contaminated with at least 50 of 100 staffers there were also contaminated. States that followed Cuomo’s lead were similarly ravaged; states that followed the federal guidance, like Florida, weren’t. California, which started down the Cuomo path but reversed course early on, fared much better than New York.
Cuomo also exploded DTMNBN-19 cases by in the early stages of the pandemic by reducing the number of trains and buses thus forcing the same riders to be squeezed in tightly, therefore spreading the virus much easier, one of the dumbest decisions ever made by a governor during a pandemic.
“States that issued orders similar to Cuomo’s recorded comparably grim outcomes,” ProPublica’s Sapien and Sexton wrote. “Michigan lost 5% of roughly 38,000 nursing home residents to DTMNBN-19 since the outbreak began. New Jersey lost 12% of its more than 43,000 residents. In Florida, where such transfers were barred, just 1.6% of 73,000 nursing home residents died of the virus. California, after initially moving toward a policy like New York’s, quickly revised it. So far, it has lost 2% of its 103,000 nursing home residents.”
Rich is syndicated opinion columnist for David Harris Jr. and owner of Maga-Chat.com. He writes about politics, culture, liberty and faith.
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