Cuomo Killing the Disabled and the Elderly: This Time It's Personal

I hope Cuomo gets his reckoning

I was going to run this one this weekend, but I’m doing this now as we may be reaching a tipping point with Gov. Cuomo, if only from the sexual harassment charges.

As many people have pointed out, it shouldn’t be the sexual harassment that gets him booted (though, yes, by itself it is enough to get him booted, obviously). It should be over how his policies killed many vulnerable people in the state, all the while media was lauding him.

We knew well before the dumbasses gave him an Emmy that certain sectors in New York were not all right in 2020. Some hadn’t made it into mass media until now… because it was necessary to have a foil against Trump.

Cuomo: not only the nursing homes, but also group homes for the mentally disabled

Washington Examiner: EXCLUSIVE — Cuomo created disabled group home deathtraps, whistleblower says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home deathtraps have silent partners — a network of some 7,000 group homes where thousands of disabled COVID-19-positive residents languished with little foresight or intervention by the state, a whistleblower has told the Washington Examiner.

Some 552 developmentally disabled individuals died from COVID-19 in the past year living in small residential group homes, while an additional 6,382 residents and workers were infected, according to the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. No comprehensive protocol existed to combat the disease as infected individuals were purposely mixed with clean households, said care worker Jeff Monsour.

“In one case, an individual shared a room in a medically frail facility with another individual — one had COVID, and the other did not. The only thing separating them was a cloth privacy screen,” Monsour said. “I have been complaining about this COVID situation for a year, along with some other things. I believe the dysfunction goes all the way to the top, to Cuomo.”

In many ways, it’s worse than the nursing home situation. The elderly in nursing homes generally do not last long anyway.

This does not mean it’s okay to kill off people who were already near the end of their lives; just that it is worse to kill off people who would normally live decades longer if only the pandemic hadn’t been deliberately spread in their living arrangements.

And for me, this is really personal.

Our son D

You may have seen one of the Christmas song videos I’ve done with my son. We call him “D” or “Mr. D”.

Stuart has done exactly one post on STUMP, which has to do with D: Can Disney Films Teach Social Skills?

Like the Susskinds, it was a hard hit from life for us when we were told that D. was “on the Autism Spectrum.” We also adapted and do everything we can for our now-7-year-old son.

Just as no two people are alike, the son in the article, Owen, and our son, D., are different in their disabilities. D. had no language loss — because he didn’t have language skills to lose. He spoke rarely but always sang songs he loved. D. didn’t withdraw from the world and has always been loving, cuddly and interested in any adult who gives him attention. I can go on but let’s focus on a commonality between the two. They love videos.

He still loves videos. D has his own kindle now, and particularly likes watching videos like this one (logo alphabet). D loves logos and alphabets. He even taught himself Aurebesh.

D is now 14, soon to be 15. I’ve gotten him on a Medicaid waiver, supposedly because he will be able to get certain services now (the services needed now, though, are unavailable until all the lockdowns stop). I mainly started that process because D will need to live in some kind of group home, and I’d like him to transition as soon as he can.

We will not discuss Stu’s mortality prospects (hey, those could be wrong), but mine are such that D will likely be at least middle-aged by the time I die. However, it would be a huge wrench if that was the point at which he would be moved to living independently of family. I have extended family members who managed group homes for cognitively disabled adults, and I’ve visited such living arrangements. I really like the model, which is far more family-like than the old institutional model. There are plenty of group homes near where we live, and we could still interact with D regularly if he were in a group home.

But not in a pandemic. And not if they are deliberately sending disease into these homes.

Well, it’s “family-like”, but it’s not family.

So this whole situation has made me feel really sick. I’d love to keep D with me, and this definitely gives me the incentive to avoid sending him to a group home, but what happens when I’m gone… ugh.

I despise Cuomo.

Why kill off the old and disabled?

Medicaid is a really expensive program for the state. Dead people are cheap. Most nursing home residents are on Medicaid and Medicare. Most disabled group home residents are also on Medicaid. Some of the numbers about the Medicaid expenditures, with relation to the elderly in specific.

On top of that, hospitals want Medicaid patients out ASAP.

The real scandal is what lay behind the high nursing home deaths in New York and a handful of other states led by leftist governors such as Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota’s Tim Walz, and Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf. It is the story of how grandpa and grandma got tossed aside for money.

The high nursing home deaths were the direct result of policies that quickly discharged elderly or disabled COVID-19 patients from the hospital when they were still COVID-positive and then put them back in group or nursing homes. The hospital lobby directly engineered this approach, and these governors obliged.

This is not a partisan issue, by the way (though all the above-named politicians are Democrats). The hospital lobby donates to Republicans and Democrats alike.

That first link was to the conservative/libertarian-linked Federalist website. David Sirota (very leftie — more leftie than Biden et. al.) has also pointed out the connection: February 17: Cuomo-gate: A Nixonian Scandal Is Engulfing New York

Cuomo’s political machine received more than $2 million from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), its executives, and its lobbying firms. The health care industry group also funneled more than $450,000 to members of the New York legislature in 2020.

The money that flowed from the group to these public officials in the middle of the pandemic was a significant increase from prior years.

Here’s the graph:

I will note: David Sirota, noted leftie, grabbed that graph from The Empire Center for Public Policy, a very non-leftist group.

The people up in arms about this are not coming from an ideological place, but people who note that infectious patients were deliberately sent into environments where vulnerable people would get infected.

Sex sells; deaths of the unwanted do not

So, it seems the main scandals for Cuomo right now deal with sexual harassment. Nobody is particularly surprised by the specific accusations. Maybe some are lies or exaggerations, but the only person denying anything is Cuomo himself.

But it really should be adding to the deaths of the vulnerable that takes him down. But no, people are more interested in the salacious stories, even if most of the behavior doesn’t rise to criminality.

Lying to the federal government over official statistics, well, that could be a crime. I’m not really expecting the Justice Department to do anything about it, though.

But this particular episode reminds me of an Agatha Christie short story (SEMI-SPOILERS COMING): the situation is that a prominent, retired politician had been embezzling government funds when he was in office. His son-in-law is now a prominent politician in the same party… and he knows the dirt is about to come out. This son-in-law approaches Hercule Poirot, asking for help.

First, the financial scandal story comes out, but what’s this? The wife (the daughter of the corrupt retired politician) has been seen cavorting with young men on the Riviera. Ooooooooooo. The scandal sheets become full of the sex story, and the financial shenanigans take the back burner. Photos of the wife with a hot young guy are published… and the wife sues for libel.

I’m not going to give the details of how the wife wins her case, but Poirot helped provide the clinching evidence.

And now that the scandal sheets have been discredited, nobody believes the financial crime story. It’s the same smear job, doncha know.

Christie’s story read true — people are always going to pay more attention to a sex scandal than anything like financial issues (unless it’s your own finances), a sex scandal over thinking about old and disabled people dying.

That’s just how it is.

2020: the year of bad decisions

But the other problem, of course, was that Cuomo wasn’t the only governor who sent sick people back into nursing homes. In addition to New York, there was also Michigan, California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Except it seems Cuomo was the only one who had his staff falsify data. So perhaps the others can get away with just admitting they made decisions that were very unwise.

As it is, the New York state legislature is starting an impeachment investigation, and I assume they’re not going to half-ass it like other impeachments we have heard tell of.

But, again, it sounds like they’re solely looking at the sexual harassment charges.

Published by the Wall Street Journal yesterday: Cuomo Administration Questioned CDC Official About Covid-19 Nursing-Home Death Data

When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration learned last year that the federal government was about to release data on Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes, state officials were concerned: Would the federal numbers tell the public a different story than the state’s own?

…..
No other state requested details about the data release, according to the official. The federal health officials on the call described the scope of the data, how it was collected and how it compared with the state’s data.

When it was released, the federal data included fatalities inside both nursing homes and hospitals. But the federal tally of 3,525 deaths was lower than the state’s total of 5,944 because nursing homes weren’t required to report deaths to the federal government from March and April, the deadliest period for the state in the pandemic.

New York officials made no effort to stop the publication of data or to alter it, but the June call was another example of the intense focus by Mr. Cuomo’s inner circle on how the state’s nursing-home deaths were presented to the public.

Cuomo, I hope you get what you deserve.

Please let the reckoning come

For the better part of a year, New York officials had declined requests to publicly release data showing how many residents died in hospitals. The Cuomo administration released the data in February, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Empire Center, a right-leaning think tank.

State officials now say that more than 15,000 residents of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities are confirmed or presumed to have died from Covid-19 since March 2020. That figure is about 50% higher than earlier official death tolls.

I hope that Cuomo sees justice over the nursing home COVID deaths, and the deliberate hiding of them, in addition to his other sins.

If nothing else, I want people to know that no, you can’t target the vulnerable with death just because they’re inconvenient to you.

If Cuomo gets his just deserts, others who come after him may be deterred from similar behavior.

And I won’t have to worry as much about D.

Actuarial News posts on nursing homes