New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Tuesday that the coronavirus spread through nursing homes like “fire through dry grass,” and that the state had feared that “from the get-go” — but did not explain why the state requires nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients referred from hospitals.
Cuomo has been criticized recently for a directive the state issued March 25 requiring nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients. California had a similar directive, but relaxed it after protests from medical professionals.
The New York governor told his Tuesday press briefing on the coronavirus that even one infected person entering a nursing home could cause massive problems:
What is really happening in nursing homes is what we feared from the get-go, right? We were introduced to this virus in [the] State of Washington in a nursing home. This virus is an efficient, effective predator. And the virus preys on the vulnerable, and the vulnerable are primarily elderly people, people with a compromised immune system. And a nursing home is Ground Zero for this virus. Period. It is a congregate facility of vulnerable people. And to stop the virus from getting in, where every staff member who walks in, they have to take their temperature, et cetera, testing, et cetera, but it just takes one person — one facility person, one nurse, one orderly, one doctor, one anything — to walk in there with a virus and then it is fire through dry grass in that nursing home. That is — you look at the people who have passed with this virus, predominantly senior citizens., predominantly people with a compromised immune system. That is where this virus goes. And it is frightening. It is frightening. And if you have a loved one in a nursing home, yes, it is frightening.
On Monday, Cuomo blamed “money” for being part of the reason nursing homes had not turned to the state or to other nursing homes to take care of coronavirus patients they could not handle. He said that the USNS Comfort was not taking patients from nursing homes and was therefore not an option.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.