COVID-19 kills. It’s indisputable. And, it favors the elderly and the infirm, those suffering from pre-existing co-morbidities.
And, it’s no secret that nursing homes have been hot spots for Coronavirus infections.
So why in the world had Governor Cuomo been sending CV-19 patients to New York State nursing homes and long-term care facilities? It’s simply insensible and illogical.
According to an AP News Service report by Bernard Condon, Jennifer Peltz, Randy Herschaft, and Jim Mustian, over 4,300 patients were shipped over to nursing homes after being discharged from hospitals.
While the March 25 directive has since been scrapped on May 10, Governor Cuomo has yet to admit that the practice was a mistake, a glaring error in the response to COVID-19.
Were any of the nearly 6,000 nursing home fatalities related? Governor Cuomo doesn’t believe so. We need to put politics aside and assess our response with honesty.
Of course, there’s no provable means of ascertaining why so many patients in adult care facilities were stricken with Coronavirus.
Perhaps part of the issue were asymptomatic nurses and other staffers and health care workers coming into work each day, then returning home, shopping at the local supermarket, bringing in the virus without realizing that this was happening.
Either way, with all we’ve learned about how aerated viral particles propagate in a closed environment, placing COVID patients in a facility with susceptible populations was a poor idea, an ill conceived plan that could bear no good fruit.
Hospitals were overcrowded, it is true. But shouldn’t another plan have been in place, perhaps constructing additional temporary hospitals? After all, the few that were built, or brought in, as was the case with the floating hospital,the U.S.N.S. Comfort, never really reached capacity.
Governor Cuomo shifted responsibility for the decision onto the shoulders of President Trump:
“Anyone who wants to ask why did the state do that with COVID patients in nursing homes, it’s because the state followed President Trump’s CDC guidance. So they should ask President Trump….I think that will stop the conversation.”
However, President Trump repeatedly came under fire for challenging the CDC, so it’s really about the Center for Disease Control.
If we want to be better prepared for the next pandemic, we have to put political differences and pride aside and deal solely with facts, using both the successes, and failures, or the present pandemic for guidance. There’s just no place for politics-as-usual any more.
And, of course, that brings us to another good question: Who decides what the facts are? We’ve come to a point where we have “Science as Certainty”; we need to have a society where open debate about medical topics is again possible, where we no longer defer to one opinion or viewpoint.
After all, the scientific process relies on experimentation and hypothesis, asking questions, not belief and dogma.