At last, Joe Biden, Anthony Fauci and CNN are no longer presenting New York Democrat Andrew Cuomo as the model governor in pandemic response. The question now is how many lives were lost due to his reckless policy of forcing vulnerable populations to accept greater risk of infection—and then hiding the results. Nursing homes were not the only places forced to accept Covid-positive patients.
Maria McFadden Maffucci writes at National Review: “Cuomo’s edicts put another vulnerable population in inexcusable peril: New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) living in group homes.” Ms. Maffucci writes:
You know that notorious March 25 order, sending contagious nursing-home patients back to their homes from hospitals? Well, it had a twin. An April 10 memo from the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to operators of certified residential facilities had identical language to the nursing-home memo, to wit: “No individual shall be denied re-admission or admission to a Certified Residential Facility based solely on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of Covid-19. . . . Additionally, providers of Certified Residential Facilities are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized individual, who is determined medically stable, to be tested for [Covid-19] prior to admission or readmission.”
Guess how that worked out for disabled New Yorkers. As is Cuomo custom, the state government withheld crucial information from public disclosure. Therefore scientists and policy makers had to try to make sense of limited data. Ms. Maffucci says that researchers often had to rely on voluntary reporting from advocacy organizations.
The available data told another highly disturbing story. Last year a study in Disability and Health Journal titled “COVID-19 outcomes among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in residential homes in New York state” reported some dismal statistics:
People with IDD living in residential group homes were at greater risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes: case rates – 7,841 per 100,000 for people with IDD compared to 1,910 for New York State; case-fatality – 15.0% for people with IDD compared to 7.9% for New York State; and mortality rate – 1,175 per 100,000 for people with IDD compared to 151 per 100,000 for New York State.
If the Cuomo government ever allows a full accounting, perhaps researchers can estimate the precise impact of the directive to facilities on accepting Covid-positive patients.
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