A medical director in New Rochelle, New York, attempted to sound the alarm about the dangerous consequences of New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s deadly nursing home policy in late March, but was ignored by the governor’s office.
Dr. Elaine Healy, vice president of medical affairs and medical director for the United Hebrew retirement community, called into BlazeTV host Mark Levin’s radio program on March 26 — the day after Cuomo’s nursing home policy was issued — desperate to get word out about the hazardous measure.
The policy forced nursing homes in the state to accept coronavirus-positive patients who had been discharged from the hospital and is estimated to have directly led to the deaths of thousands of elderly New Yorkers. Amazingly, it remained in place for more than a month, despite it being common knowledge even at the point that nursing home patients were among the highest-risk individuals suffering from the pandemic.
On March 26, Healy told Levin, “I want to bring to your attention and to the listeners’ attention what is about to happen in New York with respect to nursing homes. The governor has ordered that all nursing homes must accept COVID-positive patients that are actually potentially still infectious into their facilities and this will put our residents, our long-term care population, at risk.”
“Wait, wait, wait,” Levin responded, cutting in. “Are you pulling my leg? Seriously. Why would you send somebody who has this virus into a population that can kill people?”
Nursing home medical director calling into @marklevinshow on March 26th 2020 desperate to warn people about… https://t.co/LqZTvZcqqp
— Sara (@Sara)1615478692.0
“I’m looking at a directive from Andrew Cuomo and [New York Health Commissioner] Howard Zucker, dated March 25, that is ordering nursing homes … it says that nursing homes ‘must comply with the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals’ … they are deemed appropriate to go into the nursing homes from the hospitals and we cannot discriminate based on the presence of COVID,” Healy continued.
She went on to claim there had been “no coordination on the ground level” from the governor’s office to local health officials, but rather the governor was managing the crisis through edicts and orders.
“You can’t get through to anybody down here,” she said. “You can’t talk to anybody, there’s nobody coordinating the response at this level.”
Healy passed on the information to her overarching group, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, which issued a statement condemning the action the same day. That statement was covered in the Wall Street Journal.
“Admitting patients with suspected or documented Covid-19 infection represents a clear and present danger to all of the residents of a nursing home,” the group said.
Yet Cuomo and the state Department of Health either refused the advice or ignored it and thousands of elderly New Yorkers died as a result.