New York Governor Andrew “We Neeeeed” Cuomo, signed legislation bestowing hospital and nursing home executives immunity from lawsuits associated to the novel (DISEASE THAT MAY NOT BE NAMED) DTMNBN-19 virus last month, AFTER receiving a large $$$ boost from a powerful health care industry group, according to a new report.
The Guardian reports that the New York State Democratic Committee, then backing Cuomo’s primary run in 2018, acquired more than $1 million from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) — a lobbying group for hospitals, a few of which owns nursing homes.
Quid pro quo anyone?
The donation made the group one of the New York party’s largest contributors from that cycle. Three of the hospital association’s top officials individually gave greater than $150,000 to Cuomo’s campaign between 2015 and 2018, according to the Guardian.
That donation is now drawing scrutiny after Cuomo signed legislation last month that protects executives from lawsuits — just as he is under continued criticism for his March 25 order (since deleted) requiring nursing homes to take in DTMNBN-19 sufferers.
Cuomo recently tried to place blame for his nursing homes fiasco on President Donald Trump by pointing out that in the beginning of the pandemic, one of many suggestions made by the CDC, was to utilize nursing homes for DTMNBN-19 patients if hospitals were overwhelmed. That didn’t happen in New York. Trump created many hospitals around the city and filled them with medical personnel. Some hospitals had plenty of room, but as was the case in many other cities, they were worried about an overflow of people mainly because the numbers projected were way overblown. Even so, Cuomo is trying to convey that the nursing home suggestion by the CDC was a mandatory order, even though the governors are the ones who control their own states and not the federal government.
I watched that briefing, and it was amazing to me to hear Cuomo argue that though he understands that we are dealing with politicians, but politics needs to be taken out of the whole DTMNBN-19 virus battle, only to go on and place blame on Trump, who has no responsibility for New York. Cuomo is the governor of New York and decisions made rest squarely on him.
On May 10, amid growing criticism, Cuomo issued a new directive stating that hospitals can not send patients back to nursing homes in the state unless they tested negative for the virus.
The budget provision says that officials “shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, for any harm or damages alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission in the course of arranging for or providing healthcare services” to cope with the outbreak.
The Guardian reports that critics are actually making an attempt to repeal that provision amid concerns that it removed a deterrent against nursing homes and hospitals from cutting corners for the treatment of DTMNBN-19 sufferers. However the measures have been drafted and aggressively advocated for by the group, the outlet says.
Cuomo’s office responded to the report in a press release to The Guardian, saying that the measure was to protect health care workers throughout a national crisis. In Washington, Republicans similarly have sought to include broad liability protection for businesses in any future round of relief legislation. But I’ll bet they didn’t get gobbles of money in donations for their next election campaign to do it.
“This pandemic remains an unprecedented public health crisis and we had to realign New York’s entire healthcare system, using every type of facility to prepare for the surge, and recruiting more than 96,000 volunteers – 25,000 from out of state, to help fight this virus,” said Cuomo’s senior adviser Rich Azzopardi. “These volunteers are good samaritans and what was passed by 111 members of the legislature was an expansion of the existing Good Samaritan Law to apply to the emergency that DTMNBN-19 created. If we had not done this, these volunteers wouldn’t have been accepted and we never would have had enough frontline healthcare workers.”
“This law was intended to increase capacity and provide quality care, and any suggestion otherwise is simply outrageous,” he said.
The Guardian article, which was co-published on the socialist web site The Jacobin, marks pressure not only from conservative critics but in addition those on Cuomo’s left — even after he had initially acquired glowing praise for his performance in press conferences by media networks.
A scathing Associated Press report out Friday was extremely critical of the way in which Cuomo had dealt with the state’s nursing home DTMNBN-19 pandemic. It found greater than 4,300 DTMNBN-19 infected elderly patients had been sent to vulnerable nursing homes.
Cuomo and his administration have tried to deflect that criticism, saying it was following guidelines issued by the Trump administration.
The rules say a nursing home “can accept a resident diagnosed with DTMNBN-19 … as long as the facility can follow CDC guidance.” The guidance additionally says “nursing homes should admit any individuals that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of DTMNBN-19 was/is present.”
“Not could. Should,” Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor and Cuomo’s top aide, said at a Saturday press briefing. “That is President Trump’s CMS and CDC…There are over a dozen states that did the exact same thing.”
“Should” is not a legal order like “shall” or “must” from the federal government to the states, and Cuomo knows it. He’s just trying to shirk any responsibility for such a colossal screw-up.
Some of the most vulnerable among us live in nursing homes, and they have become a hotbed for the pandemic virus. New York has over 5,000 nursing home deaths, which makes it the largest state for nursing home deaths.
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Nursing care facilities, home to some of the most vulnerable citizens, have been DTMNBN-19 hotspots across the nation. New York leads the nation with essentially the most reported DTMNBN-19 nursing home deaths at greater than 5,000 — although the state modified how it counts deaths so the quantity of nursing dwelling affected person deaths could possibly be even greater.
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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