On March 25, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed an executive order in which nursing homes were forced to take in patients still recovering from Covid 19 and thus still contagious putting seniors in direct harm's way. It is believed that as many as 9,000 Covid positive patients were transferred into various long-term care facilities throughout our state. This policy exacerbated and added to the deadly Covid wildfire through nursing homes where over 15,000+ seniors lost their lives. Many may argue that Governor Cuomo was doing the best he could in unprecedented times. However, our response to that argument is that of all the things we knew at the time one fact was quite certain and that was that the most at risk of dying of the virus were our elderly. Cuomo said it himself when he said he would not put his own mother in a nursing home yet he did not allow facilities to test patients before being admitted or readmitted to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable.
Interestingly enough Governor Cuomo followed the same policy weeks later in his April 10th, 2020 directive instructing developmentally disabled homes to take in untested Covid positive patients into their homes, a policy that was never rescinded. One can't help but wonder why Governor Cuomo would not mandate testing of patients to ensure there is no increased risk to the most vulnerable among us. We ask that question all the time.
Governor Cuomo strong-armed long-term care facilities to take in Covid positive patients while leaving makeshift hospitals such as the Jacob Javits, Samaritan's Purse makeshift hospital in Central Park and the USS Comfort go with empty beds.
Voices For Seniors has been a place where grieving families have sought strength to pursue the answers to these important questions.
While we continue seeking answers and accountability, we work towards ensuring our seniors are safe and treated with respect and dignity. On March 25th, 2021 we took a pause from our efforts to remember the lost. A special thank you to those that supported grieving families while they honored the over 15,000 plus loved ones who lost their lives in various long term care facilities across the State of New York.
REMEMBER THE 15,000 PLUS