Bad State Decisions about Nursing Homes Are Heavily Driving the Coronavirus

I think the real story here is we need a serious rethink on how we protect people in care facilities.

This is further supported by the below article

Covid-19 Mainly Kills Old People. So Do Most Other Diseases.


This was certainly not helped by the CA, NJ and NY policies that mandated admission to nursing homes of Covid-19 patients from hospitals. I’ve posted about this before and indeed there’s a thread here at CAF about this.

I agree that our methodologies for senior citizen care could be reviewed. Perhaps home care could receive more consideration under some circumstances? Is there room for a decentralized model? What about the role of loved ones that we’ve been keeping away from the facilities?


On a positive note there have been cases where owners,and caregivers went on lockdown together with the elderly at their care. Posted in a different thread and where I live as well.That was admirable.
Cases in nursing homes have happened here as well, several. Sad.And absurd…

You’re correct.

New Jersey had 3,200 residents of long-term care homes die from complications from the virus, about 40% of the statewide total.
In New York, over 5,000 nursing home dwellers died on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s watch. That’s a 1/4 of the state’s deaths.
In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolfe (D) approved nursing homes’ mandatory acceptance of previous virus patients from hospitals, and now about 65% of Pennsylvania’s coronavirus deaths were nursing-home residents.


When liberal posters want to chide the US for how it did relative to South Korea (done as means to attack Trump, mind you), they need to be reminded of this. A large chunk of the deaths were likely avoidable if not for the boneheaded decisions of these governors.


Saw a report recently 1 out 7 senior is cared for by a Catholic Nursing home. Surprisingly and sadly these nursing homes fill a huge vulnerability in our healthcare system. You would be surprised how many seniors don’t have family to care for them, or family that aren’t involved or can’t care for loved ones. Home care is great and there are so many great govt services for seniors but still a large percentage of our elderly are abandoned too. In nursing homes your infection control can be perfect but all it takes is one staff essential employer to have it and spread it to their patients. A lot of CNAs are paid so poorly and many work 2 or 3 jobs at different facilities were they can contact the virus and then bring it into another facility. Most nursing home employees also are from or born i. foreign countries and health literacy is different in their countries (etc., food, dietary employees, housekeepers). Nurse educators can teach infection control everyday and there can always be something missed so small that can set off a wildfire in a nursing home (not removing gloves appropriately, not sanitizing an elevator button every time pushed, delivering a food tray by an infected person to a resident isolated in their room, constant med passes, toiling, changing residents …). It is so tough to control this virus in nursing homes, almost really impossible once 1 person brings it in, and that’s all it takes for residents and employees themselves to get infected.


Or more: New York Admits Knowingly Undercounting Nursing Home Deaths After Quietly Changing Reporting Rules

NYS started by counting as nursing home covid deaths those deaths in which the deceased had been in a nursing home but died in hospital, but then changed that so that those who died in the hospital were not counted as nursing home deaths.

This was retroactive. An example in the article was that on April 28, 644 deaths were counted at nursing home deaths. When the counts were revised, the number was reduced to 165, a reduction of almost 75%.

So that 5000 may be only a very small fraction of the actual count of those who died from covid acquired in a nursing home.

Story hat tip to Annie above . . . .

Yikes: New York Admits They Have Been Deliberately Undercounting Nursing Home Deaths

Posted at 8:43 pm on May 15, 2020 by Nick Arama

AP featured image

In this April 24, 2020 photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo addresses the media while holding an n95 mask during his daily press briefing on COVID-19, Coronavirus, at the State Capitol in Albany, N.Y. The mask was sent to the governor by a retired farmer from Kansas whose wife only has one lung. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)

Remember when some in media were touting Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a possible presidential contender, perhaps even a replacement if needed for the failing confused presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden?

Since then so much information has come out about what a horrible job New York did in dealing with the virus and especially with nursing homes, that it’s hard to believe that any could still be holding onto that idea.

This new report might just finish off anyone still holding any hopes about Cuomo.

Cuomo has come under fire this month because of an order on March 25 requiring nursing homes to accept people who had tested positive for the virus, despite nursing homes being one of the chief populations at risk across the country. That order is believed to have contributed to a number of nursing home deaths. Cuomo didn’t rescind that order until May 11.

Over 5,433 people have reportedly died at nursing homes and adult care facilities as of this week. That’s the most in the nation. . . .

. . . in early May, the reports the NYSDOH was putting out began omitting nursing home residents who died in the hospital thus obscuring a number of nursing home deaths. So there are actually even more than 5,433. . . .

. . . the decision to change their reporting procedure, interestingly, came on the same day that it came out that there were 1700 other deaths in nursing homes previously undisclosed. This was also as Cuomo was coming under a lot of fire for the deaths. In other words, it sure looks like they playing games with the numbers to reduce the scandal and deflect fire away from New York and Cuomo. . . .

. . . Of the other top nursing home death states, the percentage of those deaths to the states’ total deaths ranges between 36-66%. New York on the other hand is at 20%. Is that because they are undercounting the deaths? One has to think that at least plays a part. And how do you just miss the other 1700 deaths to begin with? Can we expect we’ll find even more coming?

New York and Andrew Cuomo, this is just shameful.

At the risk of sounding insensitive…

What exactly do people expect? The elderly die so easily because their bodies are on the verge of shutting down completely anyway. How much effort are we supposed to put into protecting the elderly when either way they’re on death’s doorstep anyway?

I really find it strange and somewhat disturbing how, when it comes to life, quantity seems to be all anyone cares about anymore, regardless of quality. Why keep people alive just to keep them alive? We need to be okay with letting go of this life when the time comes and not cling to it desperately and irrationally.


How much effort? At least not sending COVID patients to nursing homes, which is the very opposite of protecting them.


Like Annie said you don’t put COVID-19 patients in a Nursing home, it’s like putting the proverbial fox in the henhouse!!

Callous and cold-hearted doesn’t begin to define what these governors did!


I think we keep people alive because we respect life. I agree we should not overvalue this life FOR OURSELVES, but we’re not free to place the value (or lack thereof) on that of another.


So does that mean we must do literally everything physically possible to keep someone alive for as long as we possibly can? That would mean utilizing all of the most advanced technology to sustain every individual humans being’s life indefinitely - putting every single person whose body is shutting down on life support and never taking them off of it, performing all possible procedures to prolong their life (organ transplants, etc.), basically trying to keep them alive regardless of what their “life” begins to look like.

My point is, where is the line drawn? At what point can we justifiably stop trying to drag on someone’s life who would have died naturally a long time ago? To what lengths are we required to go to simply prolong a life, regardless of the quality of said life?

You’re the only one going down the slippery slope that you imagine the rest of us are on. No one says we have to do every last possible thing and for you to have implied we said that is intellectually dishonest.

What we are saying is that we are not to intentionally make their situation worse as these governors did. They knew full well what they were doing. The evidence that Covid-19 was bad for nursing homes has been in front of us since Kirkland hit the national headlines in early February. Yet these states did it anyway and it’s fair to ask what the heck were they thinking? That question can be asked without going down the slippery slope you presented.


I haven’t said or responded to anything directly about current events; I’m asking philosophical questions about things which underly current events. If you don’t want to engage my line of reasoning, then don’t; but implying that it’s irrelevant to the discussion is simply incorrect.

We were talking about particular state decisions that affected the nursing homes.

You want to have a much wider discussion, you can create a thread for it. During which we can discuss the role of POLST’s (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) in your scenarios. Also there was a thread in the CAF Moral Theology forum, iirc, that addressed elder care that considerably overlaps with your concerns and also discusses the Church’s approach to these issues. Suggest you find it, it will be good reading.

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Andrew Cuomo Scrambles to Change Nursing Home Virus Policies as Democrats Call for Independent Investigation




15 May 2020

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo finds himself engulfed in scandal as a growing number of Democrats join state Republicans in demanding an independent investigation into his controversial policies and how questionable actions may might have contributed to the catastrophic outbreak of coronavirus in New York nursing homes.

More details have emerged in recent days raising major questions about potentially fatal decisions made under Cuomo’s watch as the death toll in New York’s nursing homes swells to over 5300 and continues to climb. . .

. . . . The center of the storm surrounds a controversial March 25 directive prohibiting nursing homes from testing recovering hospital patients prior to intake. This while Cuomo’s aides reportedly quietly worked to shield nursing homes from lawsuits due to coronavirus following lobbying by industry representatives.

The March 25 executive order in question stated, “[nursing homes] are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”

Last week, New York suddenly disclosed more than 1,700 previously unreported deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities. An Associate Press tally put the number of nursing home virus deaths at over 5300. . . .

. . . Cuomo is under more scrutiny after the New York Times revealed that his aides “quietly inserted a provision on Page 347 of New York’s final, voluminous budget bill” that provided what the newspaper characterized as “unusual legal protections” for nursing home operators.

The measure, which followed intensive lobbying efforts by nursing home representatives, protected elderly care facilities from lawsuits . . . The legislation was included inside a budget that was approved by the State Legislature on April 2.

In other words, after an executive order seemingly ensuring that nursing homes can continue to be filled with clients by barring testing for incoming residents, Cuomo’s aides reportedly quietly shielded those same homes from many lawsuits arising from coronavirus outbreaks.

Amid the ensuing outcry, Cuomo established an inquiry under the auspices of his own health department as well as the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat. That led to Republicans calling for an independent probe.

Now some Democrats are joining the Republican chorus demanding an independent investigation. . . .

New York Democrats Silent on Andrew Cuomo’s Original Plan to Put Coronavirus Patients in Nursing Homes

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to the media outside the home of rabbi Chaim Rottenbergin Monsey, in New York on December 29, 2019 after a machete attack that took place earlier outside the rabbi's home during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah in Monsey, New York. - An intruder stabbed …

KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images


15 May 2020

New York Democrats remain silent on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) original decision to put coronavirus patients in New York nursing homes.

Cuomo instituted a controversial order in March to force nursing homes — with elderly patients who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus — to take infected coronavirus patients from hospitals. . . .

. . . The Wall Street Journal reported that New York’s death rate related to nursing homes rose to 5,398, which serves as a significant part of New York’s total death rate.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, New York has the highest rate of coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes in the nation. . .

. . . Breitbart News contacted New York’s congressional delegation to see what it thought of Cuomo’s original decision to force nursing homes to host coronavirus patients.

All Democrats, in the House and the Senate, did not respond to Breitbart News’s request for comment.

The following New York Democrats did not respond to the request for comment:

  • Chuck Schumer
  • Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Thomas Suozzi
  • Kathleen Rice
  • Gregory Meeks
  • Grace Meng
  • Nydia Velaquez
  • Hakeem Jeffries
  • Yvette Clarke
  • Jerry Nadler
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • Jose Serrano
  • Eliot Engel
  • Nita Lowey
  • Sean Patrick Maloney
  • Antonio Delgado
  • Paul Tonko
  • Anthony Brindisi
  • Joseph Morelle
  • Brian Higgins . . .


They are afraid of this very popular governor.

Contrasting Florida with New York . . .

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Sees 1/7 of NY’s Nursing Home Deaths After Banning Coronavirus Patients’ Entry

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 29: Governor Ron DeSantis gives a briefing regarding Hurricane Dorian to the media at National Hurricane Center on August 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Hurricane Dorian is expected to become a Category 4 as it approaches Florida in the upcoming days. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty …

Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images


13 May 2020

At around the time New York’s state health department under Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a directive prohibiting nursing homes from testing recovering coronavirus patients prior to admission, Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantis issued its own executive order strictly regulating incoming patients to protect those facilities from the epidemic.

About a month and a half later, the differences are staggering. The latest tallies show that in Florida 745 residents and staff at long-term care facilities across the state have died from coronavirus although the numbers continue to rise in the state and nationwide. This compared to New York’s 5,300 dead in nursing homes.

Florida has one of the nation’s largest elderly populations and is more populous than New York. The Sunshine State hosts over 4,400 nursing homes and assisted living facilities containing over 151,000 residents.

Cuomo is facing increasing criticism as the state’s elderly care facilities have been devastated by coronavirus.

And he’s been forced in recent days to reverse a controversial March 25 directive requiring nursing homes to take recovering coronavirus patients.

The March 25 executive order in question stated “[nursing homes] are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.” . . .

A full ten days before the scandalous New York order or nursing homes, Florida’s Division of Emergency Management on March 15 issued its own executive order tightly regulating entry into nursing homes, including strict rules of admission for staff and incoming patients.

The Florida agency’s coordinator, who was designated by DeSantis as the state’s coordinating officer for the pandemic, issued a March 15 mandate that prohibited entry into nursing homes except for a narrow list. . . .

. . . Emmett Reed, executive director of the Florida Health Care Association, applauded DeSantis for “always seeming to be a step ahead,” including with the early directives on restricting access to nursing homes. . .

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