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Gov. Cuomo Says GOP ‘Playing politics’ Over NY Nursing Home COVID Deaths

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shifted the blame for the thousands of COVID-19 nursing home deaths in his state, saying that the Republicans are “playing politics” over it, in an interview with MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle on Monday.

Despite Cuomo’s denial, he did in fact order nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients in March, knowing that the elderly were one of the most at-risk populations. And, later, The Governor attempted to cover the order up, according to The Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson who reported last month that the order was mysteriously deleted from the New York State Department of Health’s website.

“The Republicans, Stephanie, are playing politics. They don’t want to talk about how they are now handling this COVID virus,” Gov. Cuomo said.

He added, recognizing that thousands of parents’ and grandparents’ lives were lost in New York as a result of the policy, “Yes, I understand that. And there are facts, let’s look at the facts, right, rather than the political rhetoric. Yes, we had more people die in nursing homes than anywhere else because we had more people die.”

Gov. Cuomo then blamed the Federal government who “missed the boat and never told us that this virus was coming from Europe and not from China. And January, February, March before they did the European travel ban, 3 million people came from Europe and brought the virus to New York and the Federal government didn’t know and the Federal government and the CDC and all of them failed to handle this pandemic and warn this nation.”

“So New York had more cases, more deaths, and more deaths and more deaths in nursing homes because that’s who the virus affects,” Cuomo explained. “It affects senior citizens, we know that. You look at any state and they had a tremendous number of deaths in nursing homes. It’s all a political charade and it’s an ugly one, frankly to talk about a number of deaths and suggest there was politics added.”

Gov. Cuomo continued, saying that the number of cases of the virus “are still going up” in states like Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma. “Look in the mirror and say ‘you know what, we were wrong, we’re killing people unnecessarily by this irresponsible, reckless reopening. And it’s not working for the economy either,” he said.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, along with several of his Republican colleagues, sent letters last week to Democratic governors, including Cuomo, who enacted the lethal policy, requesting that they provide answers as to why they evaded early warnings from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to protect the elderly.

“He says it’s just ‘politics.’ People lost parents & grandparents. That’s NOT just politics. You know a Democrat is in trouble when even MSNBC is calling them out,” Scalise wrote on Twitter Monday in response to Cuomo’s interview.

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Healthcare

TN Republican introduces legislation to fight opioid shipments into U.S.

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Tennessee Republican Representative Diana Harshbarger is attempting to fight the opioid crisis and epidemic through new legislation. Introduced Friday, Harshbarger told the Daily Caller:

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the legislation, which addresses what Harshbarger calls a “loophole.” The legislation amends the Controlled Substances Act to specifically require registrants to investigate reports of suspicious orders of controlled substances and halt them if necessary. Under the version of the act currently in force, drug manufacturers and distributors are only required to report suspicious orders of opioids and other controlled substances to the DEA.

“Breaking the opioid epidemic’s stranglehold on our nation is one of my foremost priorities. In an effort to do so, my colleagues and I have identified a loophole that allows distributors to continue order fulfillment, even under suspicious circumstances.”

“My bill closes that loophole with the requirements and guardrails needed to ensure these addictive and potentially dangerous drugs do not fall into the wrong hands while the DEA investigates. The future of our nation depends on us solving the addiction crisis, and this is a step towards that outcome” Harshbarger continued.

The Daily Caller reports:

According to a congressional report released in September, the opioid crisis cost the U.S. $1.5 trillion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC says 93,331 people died from overdoses in the U.S. in 2020, the highest in 50 years. Opioid-related deaths made up nearly three-quarters of the total.

Pharmaceutical companies have been blamed for contributing to the opioid epidemic. The Department of Justice is currently suing the pharmaceutical company AmerisourceBergen over allegations the company failed to report suspicious orders of opioids to federal law enforcement.

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