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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

College to begin offering abortion pill on campus

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Barnard College, a partner campus of Columbia University, will be rolling out a plan in May that involves supplying students with abortion pills, the Columbia Spectator reported. The plan to provide the abortion service in the form of mifepristone abortion pills to students was initially announced in the fall of 2022 after the overturning of Roe. V Wade, according to the Spectator. However, the rollout’s delay has been partially attributed to an August 2023 grant the college received, which allowed Barnard to join a large network of primary care providers that will help steer the college through the procedures.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service will host student focus groups in upcoming weeks to find out student perspectives about the service and to identify new ways to support students considering abortion. “We wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this from every angle that will be supportive of students,” Sarah Ann Anderson-Burnett, director of Medical Services and Quality Improvement of Barnard, told the Spectator. Anderson-Burnett also said it has expanded the availability of its abortion providers to after-hours and year-round.

Barnard has six medical professionals, including two physicians and four nurse practitioners, who are capable of performing the procedure, Mariana Catallozzi, vice president for Health and Wellness and chief health officer of Barnard, told the Spectator. The school also launched a partnership with AccessNurse, a medical call center that will assist with patient concerns related to abortions.

“The training doesn’t end with the clinicians,” Anderson-Burnett told the Spectator. “Clinicians are trained on the actual provision, but there’s also an overall training that will be provided to key partners and stakeholders across the campus because we want every step, every touchpoint, to be supportive and to be trauma-informed and to be patient-valued and centered but also respect confidentiality and privacy.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst spent more than $650,000 to stock abortion pills in March 2023 at the request of Democratic Maryland Gov. Maura Healey. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill in May 2023 forcing college in the state to stock abortion pills on campus.

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