LONSBERRY: GRAMA DIED AND ANDY LIED


On Saturday, after months of stonewalling, Andy Cuomo released the total number of nursing home residents who have died of covid.

 It was 14,832.

               That’s a lot of grandmas and grandpas.

               The number previously released had been closer to 9,000. That was just the number who had actually died in their nursing homes. We learned Saturday that some 5,800 others had died after being moved from their nursing homes to actual hospitals as they became acutely ill.

               That means that Andy had been hiding some 63% of his body count.

               Families and Republican legislators and some reporters had pressed for months for the total number, but the governor had said it wasn’t available and his health lackey gave repeated dissertations about how hard it was to calculate while announcing repeated delays for its actual release.

               The expected February release, which had been pushed back repeatedly from previous months, was moved to March.

               And then the attorney general weighed in.

               In 76 pages that roasted everybody, Tish James gave an estimate of the total number of nursing home deaths and cited state policies and nursing home mismanagement as the reasons it was so high. Her report was an open criticism of Andy Cuomo, and will probably unleash his fury upon her. 

               But that was just the first blow.

               Some judges also looked like they were going to rule against him, and “The New York Times” wrote a scathing review of how his mismanagement of the covid fight ignored best practices and established structures in public health, and drove many senior infectious disease experts from his state Health Department.

               So, his stuff in the wind, Andy dropped the numbers on Saturday.

               Despots have done that since Goebbels convinced Hitler that nobody paid attention to bad news on Saturdays.

               And this news was bad.

               Let’s put it in perspective.

               According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which tracks health care numbers and policies, in the most recent year for which there are numbers – 2019 – New York had 89,775 people who lived in nursing homes.

               Andy’s administration now says that, over the last 11 months, 14,832 of them have died of covid.

               That’s 16.52%.

               More than sixteen and a half percent of all the men and women living in New York nursing homes died of covid.

               That’s huge.

               Yes, nursing homes have been killing fields in the covid era. Alerted from the very first American cases that nursing home residents were the most vulnerable people in the nation, most states failed to protect them. There were strict anti-visitation rules, but those seem to have been about keeping residents’ families from discovering how bad covid conditions were inside nursing homes. Thus far, nursing home residents have been between 33% and 40% of all the deaths, even though they are just one-third of one percent of the American population.

               What makes New York different?

               The return of covid-positive residents from hospitals to nursing homes, and the subsequent cover up of the total number of covid deaths among residents.

               Which was, again, 14,832, or 16.52% of all nursing home residents.

               How does that compare to covid death among average Americans?

               The latest numbers are 462,000 covid-attributed deaths in an American population of 328.2 million. That works out to a death rate of .1408 percent. Just over 14 one-hundredths of one percent of the American population has died of covid.

               And 16.52 percent of New York nursing home residents have died of covid.

               That means that a resident of a New York nursing home under Andy Cuomo is more than a 125 times more likely to die of covid than is the average American.

               That’s why he hid the numbers.

               Because that goes beyond just being old and frail, that gets to a failure to protect and care. In a string of state-licensed nursing homes, in a covid response being completely run out of the governor’s office, Andy failed to protect these residents.

               And he continues to bar family visits under most circumstances, sentencing elderly people to isolation, loneliness and decline, and their families to fear, anxiety and despair.

               All to cover his own ass.

               And to keep from hurting sales of his book.

               And to maintain the charade that he is anything other than an incompetent narcissist who has mismanaged his state and this virus on a colossal basis.