Former Gov. George Pataki slammed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nursing house insurance policies throughout the coronavirus pandemic as a “catastrophe” that will have unnecessarily prompted the deaths of “1000’s” of susceptible aged residents.
In a uncommon swipe at his successor Friday evening, Pataki known as for an unbiased probe “so this by no means occurs once more.”
Pataki mentioned the state Well being Division ought to by no means have issued an edict requiring nursing houses to just accept coronavirus virus sufferers into nursing house services crammed with sick, aged sufferers — the inhabitants most in danger from the killer COVID-19 bug.
Compounding the misguided coverage, Pataki mentioned, is that the nursing houses lacked the private protecting tools or testing functionality to isolate and comprise the unfold of COVID-19.
Pataki additionally mentioned he was dumbfounded as to why contaminated sufferers had been despatched to nursing houses as an alternative of “tons of of unused beds” on the two short-term hospitals on the Javits Middle and the Navy’s USNS Consolation hospital ship.
“Gov. Cuomo’s dealing with of the nursing houses has been a catastrophe,” Pataki, the former-three time period governor, informed The Put up.
“1000’s of individuals lives won’t have been misplaced aside from these tragic insurance policies.”
Pataki, a Republican who served between 1995 and 2006 mentioned, “All people knew that probably the most susceptible inhabitants was senior residents. And probably the most susceptible senior residents are in nursing houses.”
Pataki mentioned the nursing houses didn’t have satisfactory private protecting tools to guard their current workers and sufferers.
“To compound the issue, the state required nursing houses to confess coronavirus sufferers. Anybody ought to have recognized this is able to be an issue — to require nursing houses to absorb coronavirus sufferers,” he mentioned.
He additionally rapped Cuomo for saying “it’s not our job” to offer masks and robes to nursing houses, although state officers had been doing so.
“It’s the govt’s job,” Pataki mentioned.
Pataki additionally mentioned the nursing houses didn’t have or weren’t supplied with the testing wanted to find out which sufferers or workers had the virus.
He additionally cited a Put up report that exposed the state Well being Division allowed nurses and different workers who examined optimistic for the coronavirus to proceed treating COVID-19 sufferers at an upstate nursing house. Following the report, the division mentioned it carried out a brand new coverage limiting COVID-positive workers from returning to work for 14 days.
“Any approach you take a look at it …That is inexcusable. There’s no protection for this,” Pataki mentioned of the insurance policies.
He talked about Cuomo has turn into one of many “hottest politicians in America” due to his press briefings on COVID-19.
Nonetheless, “it’s not in regards to the look however the perform of the workplace,” Pataki mentioned. “The buck stops with the manager workplace.”
Pataki later went on Fox Information and known as Cuomo’s insurance policies “incomprehensible” and a “shame.”
Cuomo’s senior adviser Wealthy Azzopardi returned fireplace, calling Pataki’s assaults a “unhappy, unhappy bid for relevancy.”
“It’s unhappy and unlucky that his star has fallen a lot that he’s prepared to go on TV and misrepresent the state coverage,” which is predicated on US Facilities for Illness Management tips, Azzopardi mentioned.
Azzopardi reiterated prior statements from the governor that the nursing houses can solely settle for coronavirus sufferers if they’ve a protected facility with correct staffing and protecting tools.
Cuomo officers additionally parried widespread complaints of insufficient PPE, saying the state delivered 2 million items of protecting tools to nursing houses.
He additionally mentioned federal coverage restricted sufferers despatched to the Consolation hospital.
“George Pataki doesn’t know what he’s speaking about. He hasn’t had a clue in 20 years,” Azzopardi mentioned.
Cuomo and Pataki have a sophisticated relationship.
Pataki defeated former three-term governor Mario Cuomo — Andrew’s dad — to turn into the state’s chief govt, in 1994.
Andrew Cuomo got here beneath fireplace throughout his first bid for governor in 2002, when he mentioned then-Gov. Pataki would simply “maintain the coat” of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani when it comes to management following the Sept. 11 assaults. He later deserted his marketing campaign earlier than the Democratic major.
However when Cuomo did win the governorship practically a decade later, he appointed Pataki to serve and co-chair on a panel that beneficial tax cuts. Pataki has usually avoided second-guessing Cuomo’s actions.