New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo went from liberal hero to embattled emperor of the Empire State in the fight for his political life within just 12 months.
On Tuesday, the governor’s book publisher cited a federal inquiry into Cuomo’s deadly nursing home cover-up when it announced a halt to the promotion of his pandemic manifesto touting his “leadership.”
While conservative media has been consistent in highlighting the disastrous March 25 nursing home policy from Cuomo that jammed COVID-stricken patients into the state’s long-term care facilities, the New York governor was promoted to celebrity icon among leftists in the corporate press for his aggressive pursuit of draconian lockdowns. All along, Cuomo’s state has led the U.S. with the highest coronavirus death rate in the country, a feat accomplished in no small part by Cuomo’s nursing home policy, which is estimated to have sent nearly 6,500 patients to an early grave.
New revelations related to the governor’s early actions on New York nursing homes have now provoked a long-anticipated reckoning on Cuomo’s pandemic leadership. According to data unearthed in a Freedom of Information Act case brought by the conservative think tank Empire Center, Cuomo was manipulating the numbers on nursing homes to underestimate the devastation of his nursing home policy while he paraded around the country to brag about pandemic triumph. Subsequent reporting from The New York Times found the nursing home death toll in New York at more than 9,000.
Yet Cuomo is far from the only U.S. governor who implemented a deadly nursing home policy forcing coronavirus-infected patients into close contact with the population’s most vulnerable. And it’s become clear that the reason for this policy is money: “The hospital lobby directly engineered this approach, and these governors obliged.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who shared in Cuomo’s media glory as an aggressive lock-downer throughout the pandemic, signed a similar order that forced COVID patients into nursing homes on April 15.
“A long-term care facility must not prohibit admission of readmission of a resident based on COVID-19 testing requirements or results,” the spring order read, which was renewed repeadedly throughout the summer until it was finally rescinded in September.
The true toll of the Whitmer order remains unknown to the public, as the governor’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) stonewalls Freedom of Information requests for information to determine COVID deaths in long-term care facilities. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of Pulitzer Prize-winning Michigan investigative journalist Charlie LeDuff to unearth the data hidden by Whitmer’s public health department.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom
On the west coast, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, now facing an imminent recall election, signed an executive order on May 15 that “patients hospitalized, or receiving treatment at an alternate care site, with COVID-19 can be discharged to a [skilled nursing facility] when clinically indicated.”
According to the Los Angeles Times COVID tracker, nearly 13,000 have died in California nursing homes. Newsom now faces a recall effort that picked up steam after he was caught violating his own lockdown edicts that prohibit indoor dining.
Organizers for the movement report having collected more than 2 million signatures, far above the nearly 1.5 million needed by Wednesday to force an election, likely to come late this summer or in early fall.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy
New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy gave the green light for an order from state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli directing long-term care facilities to accept patients infected with the novel Wuhan coronavirus.
“No patient/resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the post-acute care setting solely based on a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19,” read Persichilli’s order. “Post-acute care facilities are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized patient/resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”
New Jersey now tops the country in the highest rate of COVID deaths as of this writing, with nearly 24,000 fatalities.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz
Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz declared a peacetime emergency early on in the pandemic, on March 13. Shortly after, Walz commanded nursing homes take in COVID patients.
Walz defended his decision during a May press conference last year.
“This was not a mistake,” Walz said of the policy. “It wasn’t like no one though about this. There was complexity in how you deal with this.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf
On March 18, Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf issued an executive order demanding, “nursing care facilities must continue to accept new admissions and receive readmissions for current residents who have been discharged from the hospital who are stable.”
“This may include stable patients who have had the COVID-19 virus,” the order read.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports more than 12,500 people between employees and patients have died from cases in nursing and personal care homes.