Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie) is demanding an investigation into the Department of Healths handling of nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic following thousands of COVID-19 related deaths in nursing homes. The Health Department under the governors leadership mandated that nursing homes accept COVID-19 patients regardless of their capability to provide them with proper care and facilities to prevent the virus from spreading. This directly contradicts federal CDC guidelines, which state patients should be accepted on a case-by-case basis, and only when nursing homes are equipped with designated COVID-19 care units that have resources and PPE necessary to keep the sickness contained.
I am sickened, because as the governor continues to dismiss calls for an investigation into the Health Departments handling of nursing home patients to hold those responsible for this mismanagement accountable, countless people are losing their parents and grandparents every day, said Tague. This isnt about politics, this is a matter of life and death and unfortunately the Health Departments mishandling of COVID-19 within nursing homes has caused an unfathomable loss of life within our elderly community. The governor jumped the gun on this issue in a way that defies common sense, as while discussing the need to protect our elderly and vulnerable he sent infected patients to nursing homes full of them with staffing and PPE levels that were already barely sufficient pre-pandemic. CDC guidelines were clearly ignored, and the consequences of that decision were devastating. Its just common sense that introducing these patients into already understaffed nursing homes would end badly, and it puts our already struggling healthcare workers in danger as well. The governor needs to step up and be a man about this, because every day he ignores the climbing death toll and acts as if such a large loss of life is unpreventable, the virus spreads further among our elderly and takes more of them away from us. Looking into what went wrong and how to prevent such loss from happening again is a matter of basic humanity, so I implore the governor to put his pride aside, have a heart, and allow an investigation into the Health Departments improper handling of our people in nursing homes to move forward.