(WETM) – During a virtual press conference this morning, Rep. Tom Reed continued his push for an investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the nursing home crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reed held a joint virtual press conference with United States House of Representatives Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana saying what happened in New York nursing homes was “egregious.”
Reed previously joined other New York State lawmakers, including former Governor George Pataki, who have called for investigations into the state’s handling of the virus.
About 6,200 nursing home residents have died from the virus since March 1 after Gov. Cuomo issued an order, which he says fell under Center for Disease Control guidelines, saying that no resident should be denied care from a nursing home.
Governor Cuomo’s office says “CMS’s guidance issued March 13th clearly stating that patients should admit any individuals that they would normally admit to the facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID1- was/is present.”
On Thursday morning Reed emphasized that he’s “been dealing with this issue from day one in early March,” and was active in acquiring testing for local nursing homes.
At least 31 nursing home residents in Steuben County have died from the virus at three facilities: Hornell Gardens, Elderwood at Hornell, and the Harriet Taylor Health Center.
Reed went on to say that he had “daily calls” with hospitals, health networks, and nursing home facilities during the crisis, saying he “heard the concern for these people in real-time, and no one would listen in Albany, in regards to this horrific order.”
Governor Cuomo’s office issued the following statement to WETM in regard to Reed’s statements:
“These craven political hacks sent this same partisan document to several other states – all of which happen to have Democratic governors – apparently seeking some sort of election year boost and to misdirect attention away from the oversight committee’s investigation into the federal pandemic response.. Nothing can cover for the fact that the federal government failed, specific federal guidelines were issued and followed by more than a dozen states, and that present state law, Section 10 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 415.26 states that a nursing home shall accept and retain only those residents for whom it can provide adequate care – specifically outlawing nursing homes from accepting patients they cannot care for.”Rich Azzopardi, Senior Advisor to the Governor
The full press conference with Rep. Reed and Scalise is available below.