Statement from NYS Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt on Coronavirus in Nursing Homes

A Statement from Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

Governor Cuomo and his Department of Health Commissioner’s continual attempts to distort reality are an insult to every New Yorker who lost a mother, father, grandma, grandpa, or other loved one in a nursing home, long-term care, or assisted living facility.

The fact is that coronavirus ravaged a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington in late February, and the devastation illustrated the danger the virus posed to our seniors. Instead of swiftly acting to protect our most vulnerable, Cuomo and his Health Commissioner did nothing.

The Cuomo administration now blames family members and dedicated staff instead of their botched March 25 directive that sent COVID-19 positive patients walking into the door. The Cuomo administration’s failure to accept responsibility for their disastrous response has been outrageous, but to blame family members who have suffered devastating losses – who were not even able to say goodbye at funerals – is the ultimate low.

It’s not only the March 25 directive that led to this disastrous and deadly outcome. At the start of the crisis, the Cuomo administration fixated on holding daily briefings to gain national attention while our seniors in nursing homes were an afterthought.

The Senate Republican Conference called for measures to be taken, but not Cuomo or a single Democrat did anything.

An independent investigation is needed to understand what went wrong to provide answers to families and to help our nursing homes deal with infection control, not a report issued by the Cuomo administration and their allies.