Seema Verma: Science Is Clear, Cuomo’s Nursing Home Policy Was Wrong

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo arrives with a face mask at a news conference on May 21, 20
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) neglected to use assets made available to him by the Trump administration as part of the Empire State’s coronavirus response, explained Seema Verma, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), on Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

Verma previously told Breitbart News that Cuomo and other Democrat governors issued coronavirus-related directives contrary to federal government guidelines.

On May 21, Cuomo claimed to have followed the federal government’s guidance in directing New York’s nursing homes to accept residents with COVID-19. He said, “Why did the state do that with COVID patients and nursing homes? It’s because the state followed President Trump’s CDC guidance.”

Verma said, “The governor continues to be confused about the policy. I heard him just yesterday talking about it, and he keeps saying that it was federal guidelines that allowed him to create the policy that he had, and I just want to be very clear with with your listeners and the public, because it’s important to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”

“Our guidelines very clearly say that a nursing home can accept somebody that’s COVID-positive, as long as the facility can follow the CDC guidelines around isolation,” Verma added, “But it also says — and I’m reading this — it says, ‘If a nursing home cannot, then it must wait until these precautions can be discontinued.’ So the guidance couldn’t be any clearer.”


Verma said Cuomo did not fully utilize the USNS Comfort or Javits Center, which were both converted to makeshift coronavirus treatment facilities.

“What I don’t understand about what happened in New York is that President Trump sent the USNS Comfort ship to New York,” Verma remarked. “He also had the Javits Center set up — basically — as a hospital.  So all those opportunities were there for Gov. Cuomo, and yet he continued to force nursing homes to take COVID-positive patients.”

Verma added, “President Trump, very early on, said we want states to inspect all of their nursing homes, and New York had a very low level of inspections. They didn’t go in there and inspect their nursing homes, and that’s an important piece of this, because if they had gone in and inspected the nursing homes, they would have had a better understanding of which nursing homes were prepared to take care of these patients.”

“Forcing nursing homes to take COVID-positive patients when they weren’t prepared obviously has had a devastating impact on our most vulnerable citizens,” concluded Verma.

Both Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force advised that elderly and vulnerable COVID-19 patients be isolated, recalled Verma.

“You don’t want to introduce somebody who’s COVID-positive and put them around other patients,” Verma warned. “You have to be able to isolate patients that are COVID-positive. We’ve told our vulnerable patients across the country [that] if you are an elderly person with underlying health conditions, you need to take precautions. You need to stay at home. So why would we put a COVID-positive patient into a nursing home with close living quarters with very vulnerable patients?”

Verma concluded, “Think the science is actually very clear that this is the wrong thing to do.”

Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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