It Wasn't Just Nursing Homes; Cuomo Endangered Another Vulnerable Group With a Similar Order

AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool

Hopefully, most Americans are now aware of the Andrew Cuomo nursing home scandal, that Cuomo ordered nursing homes to take Wuhan coronavirus positive patients — whether they wanted to or not. There’s now an investigation underway because of the subsequent cover-up of the number of deaths, which people now believe to be about 15,000 after the order on March 25, 2020.

But that wasn’t the only place he ordered to accept coronavirus patients.

Cuomo ordered homes for the developmentally disabled to accept virus patients and never reversed the order, as he did the nursing home order. The April 10th order was similar to the nursing home order: that they could not require hospitalized residents to be tested for the virus prior to admission or readmission.

More than 6,900 people out of the almost 35,000 who live in the homes got the virus and 552 have died, according to Fox News.

New York lawmakers are now looking into this order, as well:

“I am deeply concerned that the April 10th order from OPWDD needlessly put some of our most vulnerable citizens in harm’s way. Close on the heels of the deadly nursing home order from the Department of Health (DOH), this order appears both dangerous and tone deaf. Transparency has been a major failing of this administration at all levels,” GOP State Sen. Mike Martucci, a signatory of the letter and ranking member of the Senate Disabilities Committee, said in a statement.

OPWDD is the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

As with the nursing home scandal, they’ve been stonewalled when they’ve tried to get the real data from the Cuomo administration.

So the question is how much of an effect did the order have on the homes?

An October study of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in group homes found they had a coronavirus case rate roughly four times higher than the overall state population. Their fatality rate was also nearly double that of the overall state population, according to the study.

How much of that is due to Cuomo’s order? Clearly, it couldn’t have helped when there was probably already a question of dealing with a virus in such a group home environment.

From National Review:

This dangerous directive ignored the realities of typical group-home setups — small homes with shared facilities and no place to isolate. And, adding insult to injury, such “congregate settings” for the disabled were not designated as “priority recipients” of desperately needed PPE. Under New York State’s Emergency Management Policies, “hospitals, EMS, nursing facilities, and dialysis centers” were eligible for aid with PPE, but not residences for the disabled.

A watchdog group, Disability Rights New York, filed a complaint on April 9 with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, stating that “New Yorkers with ID/DD living in New York State licensed or certified group homes and other congregate settings are at serious risk of contracting and succumbing to COVID-19. Direct Service Providers who provide essential care for individuals in congregate care settings do not have access to PPE to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the individuals residing in these settings and many individuals residing in these settings are unable to protect themselves from contracting the disease.”

It’s important to understand the Cuomo was doing this while President Donald Trump was offering a variety of alternatives for care to send patients to including the Javits Center and the U.S.S Comfort hospital ship. The ship, which was initially sent to take extra non-virus patients, switched to be able to take virus patients, but then closed because they weren’t being sent anyone.

Meanwhile, as the Wall Street Journal observed, the Cuomo administration was also severely limiting family access to their loved ones in the home while endangering them at the same time. So, they were telling the families stay out because of the risk of infecting the residents but then bringing in positive patients who could then infect the residents. How vile can you get?

As with the nursing homes, families then created an advocacy group to try to get attention to what was happening, but it didn’t get the media’s attention.

But as with the nursing home situation, they had other alternatives; there wasn’t a reason to endanger anyone.

H/T: Hot Air