Despite mounting deaths, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that “it’s not our job” to provide nursing homes with protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic — even though his own administration requires re-admission of residents with the disease.
“We have been helping them with more PPE but, again, it’s not our job,” Cuomo said during his daily briefing in Albany.
Cuomo also reiterated earlier remarks in which he said that the state oversaw, but did not “run,” New York’s privately owned nursing homes.
“We regulate the private entity. If the private entity is not performing their duty as they should be, then the state takes action against the private entity. You can lose your license,” he said.
“You’ll be out of business if you’re not providing your staff with the right equipment. You’re out of business. That we can do.”
As of Monday, at least 3,477 residents of nursing homes and adult care facilities have died of COVID-19, according to state Health Department data, but officials have said the number was likely an undercount.
Cuomo’s remarks came just minutes after his health commissioner, Howard Zucker, defended the state’s policy of requiring nursing homes to re-admit residents who’ve tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We are working very closely with the leadership of the nursing homes, both to get more staff to help them out [and] obviously, the supplies, we’ve been working very hard on that,” he said.
“We’re also looking at how they can help cohort patients a little bit better.”
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