AP featured image
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference alongside the National Guard at the Jacob Javits Center that will house a temporary hospital in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Monday, March 23, 2020, in New York. New York City hospitals are just 10 days from running out of “really basic supplies,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said late Sunday. De Blasio has called upon the federal government to boost the city’s quickly dwindling supply of protective equipment. The city also faces a potentially deadly dearth of ventilators to treat those infected by the coronavirus. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

We’ve been covering the story of the unbelievable policy in New York that requires nursing homes to accept people who have tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus and wondering why there hasn’t been more coverage of this by the mainstream media.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo denied knowing about this policy last week but his Health Commissioner Howard Zucker confirmed it was a policy.

As we reported this appears to have led to deaths in multiple nursing homes but people were afraid to go on record with their names allegedly because of fears of retaliation by the Cuomo administration.

Now the New York Post is reporting that the Health Department was explicitly warned about the deadly problem at a nursing home in Brooklyn.

Cobble Hill Health Center CEO Donny Tuchman sent a desperate email to state Health Department officials on April 9, asking if there was “a way for us to send our suspected covid patients” to the hospital built inside the Javits Convention Center or the US Naval hospital ship Comfort — the under-utilized federal medical facilities on Manhattan’s West Side.

“We don’t have the ability to cohort right now based on staffing and we really want to protect our other patients,” Tuchman wrote in a chain of the emails reviewed by The Post.

He was denied.

At the time both the Javits facility and the Comfort were barely in use and they had the capacity to take on patients. They certainly had the hospital facilities, unlike the overstrained and understaffed nursing home.

55 people have now died in that one nursing home. The Comfort meanwhile is being sent back home because Gov. Cuomo said it wasn’t needed.

In an email one day earlier, Tuchman told Health Department officials that the facility had “over 50 symptomatic patients scattered through the building and almost no gowns.”

Tuchman said Cobble Hill had been asking the city’s Office of Emergency Management “daily” for more gowns, but “gotten only a few hundred delivered.”

“There is no way for us to prevent the spread under these conditions,” he wrote in desperation on April 8. “Is there anything more we can do to protect our patients and staff? Thank you for any help you could be.”

They ended up wearing garbage bags for protection, according to the Post.

Health Department spokesperson said they had had many conversations with Tuchman but claimed he said he was able to meet the need and that he would be receiving more PPE.

While Cobble Hill is at the top of the list, it’s just one of the multiple New York nursing homes suffering deaths. Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation in Queens came next at 51, with Kings Harbor Multicare Center in The Bronx, Franklin Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Queens, and Carmel Richmond Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Staten Island, all at 45 deaths each.

From NY Post:

The state concedes that 3,448 residents of nursing homes or adult-care facilities are known to have died from the coronavirus, or nearly 25 percent of all deaths in New York. More than 2,000 of the total are in the five boroughs, and officials acknowledge that the real numbers are almost certainly higher. [….]

The COVID-19 readmission policy was adopted March 25 and was contained in a Health Department directive that says, “No resident shall be denied readmission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,” Newsday reported last month.

What makes this worse? New York is not the only state employing this policy, California and New Jersey are as well, as Mark Levin highlighted, calling it a “huge scandal.”