New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday again defended his administration’s now-scrapped nursing home policy that critics say contributed to thousands of coronavirus deaths, slamming the controversy as “a shiny object” and “pure politics.”
Cuomo’s comments came during an interview on New York’s WAMC-AM on Thursday. He was asked about the criticism and whether he acknowledged the policy was “on the wrong track.”
“No,” the Democratic governor responded. “The nursing home is an unfortunate situation on two levels. Number 1, people in nursing homes died. The nursing home [controversy] is pure politics, the Republicans in Congress, they think there’s a vulnerability.”
He added: “The nursing home thing it’s just all politics.”
Cuomo went on to say the criticism is just a way to deflect criticism from the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They don’t want to talk about what the federal government did on COVID. So they want to attack the Democrats for nursing home deaths,” Cuomo said. “It’s the same M.O … just distract, you know, create a shiny object to take the attention off what they don’t want you to focus on.”
He added: “We had the worse case in the United States because the federal government had no idea what was going on. Where was the CDC? And where was the NIH? And where was everybody?”
While Trump has faced significant criticism for handling at the federal level, Cuomo has received scathing criticism for his early order requiring that nursing homes accept COVID-19 patients who had been released from hospitals, effectively placing them in the same facilities housing the demographic most vulnerable to the virus.