Cuomo Hides Provision In Budget Bill To Shield Nursing Homes From Covid Lawsuits
Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, is under intense scrutiny as the count of nursing home coronavirus deaths continues to rise disproportionately under his watch compared to the rest of the globe. But Cuomo must have been anticipating the blow-back from his own demicidal executive orders that forced contagious persons, unable to quarantine at home, into state-funded nursing homes with vulnerable populations. The former assistant district attorney for New York City has snuck in provisions into the state’s annual budget legislation that would protect his donors that work for these “health”care facilities.
Once again, the British press is doing the job that our sycophant press refuses to do and is actually following the money and trying to answer just why New York State is loading their elderly onto figurative ice floats.
The Guardian has published a scathing review which outlines Governor Cuomo’s actions that have escalated the virulence of Covid-19 with in his state’s nursing facilities. According to the UK publication, preparing nursing homes for mass deaths began years before an under-cooked bat made it from Wuhan and into all of our lives.
“As Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a spirited challenge in his bid to win New York’s 2018 Democratic primary, his political apparatus got a last-minute boost: a powerful healthcare industry group suddenly poured more than $1m into a Democratic committee backing his campaign.”The Guardian
The last minute Hail Mary pass didn’t come without a cost, and Cuomo always pays his debts as The New York Times reported in way back 2013:
“New York State’s economic development agency created a new position last June, and then found a candidate to fill it: a young man named Willard Younger, who had just graduated from Colgate University with a degree in classics and religion. He became a special projects associate, at a salary of $45,000 a year, according to state personnel records.
His father, Stephen P. Younger, is a lawyer and power broker in legal circles who was a member of one of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s transition teams. He has also donated $26,000 to Mr. Cuomo’s campaigns over the years, disclosure records show.”The New York Times
Governor Cuomo has a proven record of nepotism that he hasn’t even bothered to hide from the public eye, going so far as to create jobs to benefit his favorite donors. And if he did that for $26k, what would he do for a cool $2.3 million?
“Less than two years after that flood of cash from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), Cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The provision, inserted into an annual budget bill by Cuomo’s aides, created one of the nation’s most explicit immunity protections for healthcare industry officials, according to legal experts.”The Guardian
Other hospital and nursing lobbies and committees donated as much as $2.3 million in campaign cash to Cuomo and co. in the 18-months before the coronavirus catastrophe and was a major support to him in a narrowly won re-election.
And for all that, Cuomo personally removed the one deterrent that would have forced nursing homes and hospitals to actually care for their patients and incentivize them to prevent to spread of the China virus – accountability.
According to POLITICO, Cuomo isn’t the only executive being targeted for loosening liability laws.
“The nursing home industry is one of the lobbying world’s quiet powerhouses. The state actions to protect the industry came after it spent tens of millions of dollars in lobbying and other advocacy.”
Ontario’s health-care unions are calling for an inquiry as well as criminal investigations into why there has been such a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths at their elderly care homes.
The union is calling for:
- A public inquiry by the provincial government into the rising number of deaths of residents and front-line workers at long-term care homes, to be commissioned immediately.
- Criminal negligence investigations by Toronto and Peel Regional Police at a yet-undisclosed number of long-term care homes and home care providers.
- An investigation into the deaths by Ontario’s Office of the Chief Coroner
Like New York, these facilities were forced ,under threat of law, to take in those recently released from hospitals and could not be rejected or even tested for COVID-19, the virus that is extremely deadly to those over the age of 65. And this was a month after the new coronavirus ripped through the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington causing at least 37 fatalities and 129 cases.
In early April, federal regulators fined the Kirkland nursing home over $600,000 after an inspection found “critical problems” that directly contributed to the coronavirus crisis there. Now the facility is facing multiple wrongful death lawsuits, as well after the federal inspection found “a number of deficiencies at the Kirkland nursing facility that placed patients’ safety in imminent danger.”
But now with New York nursing facilities off the hook for any civil responsibility for coronavirus deaths, can we assert with data that these immunity protections are leading to higher deaths in New York and other states that have passed similar legislation? Without a doubt.
At least 1/3rd of all U.S. deaths are occurring in nursing homes and those that are state funded and in locations under the jurisdiction of immunity laws are seeing the largest spikes of vanishing seniors.
New York has become the epicenter of the Wuhan virus, and it is estimated that the fatalities in nursing homes account for between 5,000-10,000 of those deaths.
And there’s no way that governors like Cuomo couldn’t have been warned about this result. Over 40% of the 650 nursing homes in the United States with cases of Covid-19 have been cited more than once by federal and state inspectors in recent years for failing standards meant to curb spreads of infections, according to a Washington Post analysis.
Critics of the immunity provisions that were snuck into Albany’s normal budget legislative session, claim that Cuomo “has taken a hands-off approach to regulating the healthcare industry interests that helped bankroll his election campaign.”
In March of 2020, Cuomo issued an executive order (below) that mandated nursing homes to readmit contagious coronavirus patients, even underlining [quote].
According to The Guardian, “amid allegations of undercounted casualties, the governor also pushed back against pressure to have state regulators more stringently record and report death rates in nursing homes.
And then came Cuomo’s annual budget – which included a little-noticed passage shielding corporate officials who run New York hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities from liability for Covid-related deaths and injuries.”
It’s not just shielding these facilities and officials from liability in civil proceedings, the legislation also grants criminal immunity:
“Shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, for any harm or damages alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission in the course of arranging for or providing healthcare services” to address the Covid-19 outbreak.”
This is just the extension of an executive order Governor Cuomo has already written and preemptively, too. In early March, before he forced nursing homes to take CoV+ patients and put their healthy residents at risk, Andrew Cuomo had already penned the immunity from civil and criminal penalties into a March 7th Executive Order.
“Cuomo had already temporarily granted limited legal immunity to doctors and nurses serving on the medical frontlines. But the carefully sculpted passage buried in the state’s annual spending bill expanded that by offering extensive immunity to any ‘healthcare facility administrator, executive, supervisor, board member, trustee or other person responsible for directing, supervising or managing a healthcare facility and its personnel or other individual in a comparable role’.”
It reeks of corruption. Andrew Cuomo and his administration protected themselves from the consequences of their own legislation weeks before they even wrote it. If that doesn’t show intent…
Cuomo’s administration defends the corrupt and genocidal legislation by claiming that New York’s entire healthcare system had to be deregulated to prepare for a “surge” of coronavirus cases. A surge that would have never happened if he and his staff didn’t do everything within their power to create and exasperate.
In a New York Assembly Bill introduced on May 11th seeks to reverse the damage done by Gov. Cuomo’s immunity bill by repealing any protections healthcare facilities received when it comes to these “preventable deaths.”