New York state officials allowed nursing home workers who had tested positive for the coronavirus but were asymptomatic carriers to continue on the job at facilities in the state throughout most of March and April.
The policy ended April 29 — well into the state’s battle with the pandemic — after Steuben County officials sounded the alarm over the policy. In fact, those same officials raised concern about the policy earlier in the month, only to be circumvented by state officials, according to the New York Post.
This is a shocking revelation, given how the virus has disproportionately ravaged nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in the state. Nursing homes have accounted for roughly 25% of the reported coronavirus deaths.
But that’s not all. Aside from allowing infected workers to continue on the job, state officials in New York also raised eyebrows last month by issuing a directive forcing nursing homes to accept infected patients from hospitals. New Jersey and California also issued similar rules.
In his report on the news, Guy Benson at Townhall wrote: “[New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo and everyone responsible for this failure must answer for it. And how could anyone not foresee this being a massive problem?”
Nursing homes have been ravaged worldwide
While nursing home deaths in New York account for 25% of deaths in the state, some, like David C. Grabowski, a Harvard University researcher who studies nursing homes, believe that when all is said and done, the numbers will be closer to half.
New York made headlines again on Tuesday when a new count revealed that 1,600 previously undisclosed deaths were reported at nursing homes in the state.
Similar reporting has been true in Europe, as well:
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) April 16, 2020
Yet lockdown measures have not focused on nursing homes
Despite the overwhelming evidence that nursing homes are disproportionately affected by the virus outbreak, it appears that state and local leaders have been slow to focus efforts on the facilities.
In an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson Tuesday, former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson slammed lockdown proponents for ignoring the facts. Berenson has been a leading critic of the often draconian lockdown measures enacted in several states.
“I’m getting sick of people saying, ‘We don’t know much about this virus, we don’t know enough to know what the right steps are,'” Berenson said. “If that’s true, why have we shut down the world?”
Rather he insisted that actually “we do know a lot about this virus. We know the average age of death in the United States and worldwide is probably about 80 or 82, and we know about half, if not more, of the people who die in the United States die in nursing homes.”
Yet instead of focusing efforts on the protection of nursing home residents and the elderly, Berenson lamented that state and local leaders are “spending time haranguing us about masks and destroying the economy with lockdowns, and every day it makes less sense, and every day it’s more infuriating.”
Author: Phil Shiver