President Donald Trump criticized governors on Tuesday who ordered that coronavirus patients be sent to nursing homes, placing the lives of elderly residents at risk.
Older adults are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the disease.
“We are using every tool at our disposal to protect our nursing homes from outbreaks,” the president said, speaking at a press briefing in the Rose Garden at the White House. “You saw the disaster of how badly some of the governors handled nursing homes.
“It is a disgrace what they have done. What some of the governors have done is a disgrace.”
Trump did not refer to any governors by name, but he was referring to states like New York, New Jersey, and others that required nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients, despite knowing the elevated risk to the elderly.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a directive on March 25 that even prevented nursing homes from testing new arrivals for coronavirus. (The only early coverage came from conservative radio host Mark Levin and the Wall Street Journal.)
More than one third of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S. happened in nursing homes, and more than one half in some states.
California issued a similar directive, but reversed it after early public criticism. Cuomo waited until May 10 to change his order.
Other states took early action to protect nursing homes. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) notably set nursing homes apart from the rest of the community, even as he took heavy criticism from the national media for declining to shut down his state’s economy until after most other states had done so.
Trump noted Tuesday that he expects to meet with Gov. Cuomo, at Cuomo’s request, later this week. He has typically pointed to his good working relations with governors of both parties during the crisis.
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.