Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo's Other Victims

How New York's governor botched early-pandemic guidance to residential care facilities for intellectually disabled adults

|

Embroiled in scandal for the better part of this year, New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet another major problem on his hands.

In January, state Attorney General Letitia James brought to light the fact that nursing home deaths were thousands higher than the Cuomo administration had reported, and that the governor's March 25 directive "may have contributed to increased risk of nursing home resident infection and subsequent fatalities." (More than 4,000 people died after the directive was issued.) Just weeks later, top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa admitted privately to fellow Democrats that the administration had covered up the true death toll in nursing homes, hoping not to invite a Department of Justice investigation.

Now, publications such as The Wall Street Journal, the National Review, and the New York Post—but not The New York Times, which for many months held off on substantially covering the March directive and calls for release of the true death toll—report that Cuomo's nursing home directive wasn't the only ill-advised guidance issued. He also issued an April 10 directive that similarly instructed residential homes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to accept asymptomatic COVID-19 patients back into congregate living facilities, in some cases without sufficient testing and isolation protocols in place.

The memo, which remains in effect today, explicitly specifies that "providers of Certified Residential Facilities are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized individual, who is determined medically stable, to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission." (Emphasis mine.) It also says that "residents who are symptomatic should only be discharged to a certified residence if there are clinical staff available who are capable of attending to the medical needs of a symptomatic resident," which invites questions about how facilities were distinguishing between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, and how the protocol varied when actually put into practice.

Republicans in the state Senate say Cuomo, who is nothing if not consistent, may be obscuring information on total death tolls in these homes, just as he did when inundated with public records requests for death tolls in homes for the elderly. New York's Office for People With Developmental Disabilities said in a statement that "residents of OPWDD group homes who were sent to the hospital for COVID-19 treatment were returned to their homes after being deemed safe to return by the hospital physician, in consultation with the residential provider." They report 553 confirmed deaths out of 6,952 confirmed positive cases in these residential facilities.

Family members of adults with disabilities say that those who live in these care facilities struggled with disruptions to routine that came around the onset of the pandemic and have persisted for nearly a whole year. Many take part in some form of daytime programming, which has been made unavailable. Some people with intellectual and developmental disabilities struggle with mask wearing, failing to understand why it even needs to happen in the first place. Families across the state were barred from seeing their loved ones in person for many months; local news accounts are replete with stories of intellectually disabled adults not understanding why in-person visits with parents, siblings, and friends had ceased. For many families, Zoom and FaceTime made for an insufficient stand-in, as some people with disabilities struggled to make sense of the technology and couldn't reap the same benefits of feeling connected to their loved ones through a screen.

Danielle Platt Lewis' family was directly harmed by the directive. Two of her aunts, both in their 60s, and one uncle (a decade younger) lived in Long Island group homes, and all three of them contracted COVID there. Both aunts passed away, but her uncle survived. "This was a nightmare of an experience for our family," she tells Reason.

"Losing two family members who should have lived longer lives is so hard to understand especially when we learned that there was a directive to place symptomatic individuals back in homes. They still had to share bathrooms and could not avoid infecting others," she says. Her dad, William, even had to "defend the sanctity and value of her [aunt's] life to doctors in charge of her care" at the hospital and says he wishes he'd taken them out of their group homes and brought them down to North Carolina, where he lives.

Liz Devoti, whose two brothers live in group homes in Rockland County and both contracted COVID, says Cuomo's "rules on group homes were and are unfair," and that his administration and OPWDD "abandoned the most vulnerable leaving not for profit agencies fending for themselves."

Did Cuomo do the same thing to disabled people that he did to the elderly? With better guidance to properly test and isolate COVID patients to stave off the spread, many subsequent deaths might have been avoided.

Cuomo is currently facing calls for impeachment from both Democrats and Republicans, especially as a sixth woman has emerged alleging that the governor sexually harassed her, this time by groping her after summoning her to his private residence. As Cuomo deals with the messy fallout, New Yorkers should remember that his misdeeds have become almost too numerous to count and that many people's lives have been affected—or ended—as a result of his early-pandemic directives, some of which remain in place today.

NEXT: The Kentucky Bill That Would Criminalize Words That Offend Cops Also Would Authorize Arrests for Distributing Water Bottles

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Cuomo is fantastic, his pandemic response was the best in the nation, and every one of his accusers is lying.

    #LibertariansForCuomo

    1. Oh, I forgot.

      “Liz Wolfe is a staff editor at Reason. She was formerly managing editor at The Federalist.”

      What is Reason doing? You should only hire writers from places like HuffPo and Bustle and Media Matters.

      1. What, no Vox?

        1. I knew I was forgetting a big one.

          My favorite Vox piece is Ezra Klein’s sharp analysis of Hillary Clinton’s career titled It’s time to admit Hillary Clinton is an extraordinarily talented politician. Written in mid-2016, it still holds up today.

          1. OK, this was a particularly good one.

            1. The best thing about Biden getting elected was that OBL stepped up his game.

              1. I have received $17634 last month from home by working online in my part time. I am a full time student and doing this easy home based work for 3 to 4 hrs a day. vbv.This job is very simple to do and its regular earnings are much better than any other office type work.
                See detail here…………Money90

                1. [ JOIN PART TIME JOB FOR USA ] Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are VCCV much better than regular office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
                  on this page…..READ MORE

          2. the glass ceiling in American politics[:] really fucking hard to break.

            I understand *someone* has been doing this.

            1. Absent a nomination, she has found another avenue. This year, you think?

      2. The Butcher of Albany.

    2. Change Your Life Right Now! Work From Comfort Of Your Home And Receive Your FirstFREW Paycheck Within A Week. No Experience Needed, No Boss Over Your Shoulder… Say Goodbye To Your Old Job! Limited Number Of Spots Open… Find out how HERE……. Visit Here

    3. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work RGF didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new… after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

      Here’s what I do…….. Visit……….. Visit Here

    4. I am making a good salary from home $1200-$2500/week , which is amazing, under a year back I was jobless in a horrible ADt economy. I thank God oy every day I was blessed with these instructiobvns and now it’s my duty to and pay it forward and share it with And Everyone, Here For MORE INFO PLEASE Just check this SITE….. READ MORE

  2. “New Yorkers should remember ….”

    New Yorkers (to be clear, the idiots in New York City who swing the otherwise red state in every stupid direction) don’t, and won’t, remember dick.

    Whoever replaces Cuomo will be an order of magnitude worse than him and, like Cuomo, that person will be praised to the skies so long as it is politically convenient to do so.

    1. Jawohl!

      1. I am making 70 to 60 dollar par hour at home on laptop ,, This is make happy But now i am Working 4 hour Dailly and make 400 dollar Easily ..HBg This is enough for me to happy my family..how ?? i am making this so u can do it Easily….

        Click this link,…… Home Profit System

  3. any person under his Rule is/was a victim … probably animals too

    1. #muttstoo

  4. It’s good that this is being noted now. But where the hell was the reporting on this back in May when everyone knew it was happening? Is anyone in the media going to admit that they fucked up and were totally full of shit when praising Cuomo for doing such a great job?

    1. “Is anyone in the media going to admit that they fucked up and were totally full of shit when praising Cuomo for doing such a great job?”

      Never.

      But, having sufficiently memory-holed their prior shilling for Cuomo, they can now pat themselves on the back for their part in leading the charge against him.

      They covered for Cuomo to get rid of Trump in the name of virtue, and now that Trump is gone they can claim they are getting rid of Cuomo in the name of virtue. Win, win.

      Progressive journalists propagandists understand that their job is to achieve political objectives and to maneuver the facts and narratives like pieces on a chess board. Sometimes you need the Queen; other times, it makes sense to sacrifice the Queen as part of a tactical combination that wins the game. The value of every stance, position, and principle is relative. Winning is the only objective.

      1. Note that the focus is being shifted toward his misogynies rather than his inept administration of state government.

        1. Cue the announcement of a foiled plot to kidnap Governor Cuomo by a rag-tag brigade of morons and undercover FBI agents …

          1. As if the glow-in-the-darks would ever allow a “journalist” to indict them in one of their false-flag gayops.

        2. Actually, if you read up on the impeachment ‘investigation’ the two main issues seem to be:

          1) the clumsy nature of the cover-up for killing 10k grandma’s
          2) being awkward and weird and creepy about feeling up several (self-identified!) female interns on an apparently regular basis.

          It does not seem to want to address:

          a) the unilateral policies enacted by the governor that caused all the deaths in nursing homes
          b) any sort of disparate-power scenarios that might lead an otherwise popular politician that he could do whatever he wanted with interns or anyone else, including (but not limited to) grandma’s

          1. Assuming that the NY constitution has similar grounds for impeachment to the USA constitution, they’re investigating only what might be high crimes and misdemeanors. Being an incompetent lackwit is not a crime, and the legislature is equally responsible with the governor for the power imbalance.

      2. Have to say that is a rather pointed description of MSM; well done. Think I’ll hold onto that one.

  5. Culling the mentally retarded has been part of the progressive agenda since the beginning of the last century. Cuomo is the perfect Progressive candidate.

    1. “Culling the mentally retarded ….”

      And yet he is still refusing to resign.

      1. I see what you did there.

    2. You know who else culled the mentally retarded?

  6. If only he’d used his powers for good instead of evil.

    1. The powers he assumed cannot be used for good; only for evil.

      1. Not those kinds of powers!

        That’s what the hero always says when the villain finally gets his comeuppance.

        And this supervillain is definitely getting his comeuppance.

        1. I sincerely doubt he’ll even get SWATted at 1 AM, much less face an appropriate punishment for his role in murdering thousands of people.

          1. He may go to prison for sexual assault.

            “Latest Accusation Against Cuomo Is Reported to Albany Police”

            —-New York Times

            https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/11/nyregion/cuomo-groping-accusation-albany-police.html?

            They’re talking about the matter being referred to the Albany police rather than the state police as odd, but aren’t the state police directly under Cuomo’s control?

            I don’t know that he’s going to jail, but he’s going down, and once he’s not the governor anymore, all bets are off.

            1. Cuomo is not going to resign under any circumstances. He understands all too well how the gears turn in the leftist Star Chamber. A resignation would be seen as nothing less than a full admission of guilt to everything. It would be an admission of guilt on the sexual harassment accusations, the nursing home scandal, and anything else on the radar, including all the shit they are likely holding in reserve.

              Cuomo is going to force the Democrats to take action. Either they impeach him, arrest him, or go fuck themselves. Cuomo is wagering that the Democrats do not have the political capital or coordination to act without fracturing the party dynamics in Albany and, as a result, risk handing control back to the Republicans once elections roll around.

              I think the Democrats lose on this no matter how it plays out. If they do not remove Cuomo, then their hypocrisy and tolerance for corruption within their ranks is open for the world to see. If they do remove Cuomo, then it will likewise affirm that Democrats have serious integrity problems and that those problems run straight to the top.

              1. I think the Democrats lose on this no matter how it plays out. If they do not remove Cuomo, then their hypocrisy and tolerance for corruption within their ranks is open for the world to see.

                It already is, but Cuomo is smart enough to realize that Democratic voters don’t really give a shit about hypocrisy or corruption when it comes to their own–for them, it’s been a feature, not a bug, for nearly 200 years, especially in New York where the first political machine was started up by Van Buren. He’s probably banking that not enough of them who might care will not be enough to matter at the polls come re-election time.

                1. You are probably right.

              2. Not to mention, Cuomo can do a tremendous amount of damage on the way out the door if he decides to.

              3. Your analysis is spot on. Sadly, neither Team L nor Team R can capitalize on it, because both parties are politically incompetent.

  7. Multiple members of New York’s congressional delegation called Friday on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign in the wake of mounting allegations of sexual harassment and an allegation of groping, as well as scrutiny over his administration’s reporting of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents.

    The Democratic governor has denied he ever touched anyone inappropriately, and has said he’s sorry if he ever made anyone uncomfortable.

    But a majority of state lawmakers are calling on him to resign, and Democratic congressional members including U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Grace Meng and Antonio Delgado joined those calls Friday. Nadler said Cuomo has lost the confidence of New Yorkers.
    https://worldabcnews.com/new-york-d-c-democrats-call-for-gov-andrew-cuomo-to-step-down/

  8. Ever get the feeling that the sexual harassment stuff is just a distraction to get people to forget all the folks who died due to Cuomo’s misrule and arrogance?

    1. No, I don’t get that feeling. Old people dying isn’t a headline grabber among the Woke.

      1. Hell they all but cheer that they’d be better off without those damned relics and their outdated values.

        1. Not okay Boomers…

          1. I forgot to add entitlement sucking.

            1. who needs Death Panels when we can get bioweapons for free?

          2. Okay….Milley?

    2. 100000000000000000%

  9. Now, publications such as The Wall Street Journal, the National Review, and the New York Post—but not The New York Times, which for many months held off on substantially covering the March directive and calls for release of the true death toll—report that Cuomo’s nursing home directive wasn’t the only ill-advised guidance issued.

    Well obviously if the New York Times hasn’t reported it, then it’s not news. Or is it possible that the New York Times simply doesn’t have any anonymous highly-placed sources with direct knowledge of the situation in place in Albany so they have no idea what the hell’s going on up there?

    1. Get out of ENBs head.

  10. intellectually disabled adults

    But enough about Joe Biden.

    1. Fuck.

      Don’t make me feel sad for him.

  11. I just hope that Fredo is next. Fredo has been out there on the Woke front lines since the beginning. He will turn on his brother to demonstrate his commitment.

    1. I’ve wondered about that, and the softball interviews on CNN; no doubt they have thoroughly discussed damage control on that end and how to disassociate from any possible fallout.

      At this point looks like Gov Hugh Jashole is taking the stand firm “I don’t answer to you lousy politicians and I’ll weather this out” approach. He’s been governor for damned near 12 years and absent a presidential bid [can we safely assume that at least is off the table?] looks like he’d like another, or two.

      Now if only there was another crisis that could sufficiently wag the dog.

  12. But did he grab any by the pussy?

    1. I think he called one woman a “lumberjack” when she came into the office wearing a plaid shirt. Kill the man.

      1. Hey, you don’t know: maybe she wanted to be a lumberjack.

        1. or at the very least identified as a lumberjack.

      2. He should have noticed the rest of the “uniform”. Flannel, ill fitting jeans, military type haircut, wire framed glasses and of course, comfortable shoes.

    2. I’ll bet you that Fredo will be the next to step up as one of the victims. Of his brother and Don Lemon.

  13. ‘I won’t resign’: Cuomo DEFIES AOC and Jerry Nadler’s calls to quit – as it’s revealed THIRTY women have now complained about his bullying and sexual harassment

    LOL–this is better than Maury or Jerry Springer. That fucker should have been run out on a rail for lying about the nursing home deaths, but if he wants to turn the New York Democrats into a complete shit show, I heartily encourage him to “never apologize, never explain.”

    1. Also, if these bitches think this guy is bad, they should take a visit to Rome to see how pure, undiluted Italians treat women, not these watered-down wops like Cuomo.

    2. If Andy goes down, Fredo is going with him. This is delicious.

      1. I highly suspect the reporter accusing him is completely bullshitting. Up to now, Cuomo’s accusers have all been young, healthy women, so at least there’s a credible pattern. Jessica Bakeman, on the other hand, is a disgustingly fat hambeast, and there’s never been any evidence based on his dating history or these other accusers that Cuomo is a chubby chaser.

        1. I think it is all bullshit (the sex stuff, not the nursing home thing), but I am nonetheless thoroughly enjoying the show. Cuomo is a sanctimonious sack of shit and corrupt to the bone. He has been for years. Watching the very sharks he groomed and enabled tear him to shreds, especially after they deified him, is very, very satisfying.

          1. Keep in mind that Woketards consider even benign friendly touching to be sexual assault. Unless I missed something, the worst they’ve had to put up with is some gross sexual innuendo. The touching is relatively benign (no legitimate grabbing of tits or asses), save for a few borderline instances, and nothing more than what you’d normally see from the descendant of Italian immigrants in New York City.

            I guess the lesson here is that if you get any resumes from Gen Z females for work positions, toss them in the trash.

        2. “Hambeast”…

  14. Liz Wolfe and Reason, bringing us last year’s news today.

    Q: What is the antonym for samizdat?
    A:. Reason

    1. If we wanted to rename Reason, I’d suggest ratsional’nost’

  15. So Cuomo is a bag a scumbag as ex president Trump?

    Not surprised.

    1. Turd thinks killing people = mean tweets.
      Turd isn’t real smart. In fact, delete “real”; he’s a fucking lefty ignoramus with a near fatal case of TDS.
      Fuck off and die turd, painfully and slowly.

    2. It turns out that everyone who is either in or from NYC is terrible, and we should nuke it from orbit, just to be sure.

      Let us know when you are in town.

    3. But still no Billy Clinton.

  16. If Biden, Pelosi, and Harris were to ask him to resign, that would be an admirable bipartisan act which would give the Democrats the least damage overall.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.