Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed the federal government for deaths Monday morning after being asked about directing nursing homes to accept patients with coronavirus.
Cuomo has come under fire for a March 25 order that directed nursing homes and long-term care facilities to accept hospital patients who had tested positive for coronavirus. The New York governor reversed the order, which some experts say resulted in more deaths inside nursing homes, on May 11.
Cuomo told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle Monday morning that the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were to blame for New York’s deaths.
“So let’s look at the facts, right, rather than the political rhetoric,” Cuomo said after Ruhle asked if he takes responsibility for the order and subsequent deaths. “Yes, we had more people die in nursing homes than anywhere else – because we had more people die. Because the federal government missed the boat and never told us that this virus was coming from Europe and not from China.”
“And January, February, March – before they did the European travel ban – three million people came from Europe and brought the virus to New York and the federal government didn’t know and the federal government and the CDC and all of them failed to handle this pandemic and warn this nation,” Cuomo said. “So New York had more cases, more deaths and more deaths in nursing homes because that’s who the virus affects. It affects senior citizens. We know that.”
Cuomo did not directly answer Ruhle’s question and did not take responsibility for the order. He continued on criticize the “political charade” and mentioned some states which are beginning to reopen. Cuomo also said that “the Republicans … are playing politics.”
“It’s all a political charade,” Cuomo said. “And it’s an ugly one, frankly, to talk about a number of deaths and suggest there was politics at it. The number of deaths are still going up, Stephanie. Look at Florida. Look at Texas. Look at Arizona. Let them look in the mirror and say, ‘You know what? We were wrong. We’re killing people unnecessarily by this irresponsible reckless reopening, and it’s not working for the economy either.’ Those are the facts, Stephanie.”
The New York governor has been criticized for avoiding the issue, with lawmakers and media personalities calling on him to address the situation.
We know Governor Cuomo violated protocols for COVID-19 in nursing homes.
We’ve seen the horrific death toll.
Time for a full investigation. Cuomo owes a lot of people a lot of answers. He must be held accountable.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) June 17, 2020
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean responded to Monday morning’s answer, tweeting that Cuomo is “really really bad at answering this question.” (RELATED: Steve Scalise Leads Charge, Demands Answers From Governors Who Ordered Nursing Homes To Take COVID Patients)
“Could it be because 1) he never gets asked the question and he doesn’t know what to do 2) because he’s guilty,” she wondered.