CNN Parrots Cuomo Distortions to Blame Trump for Nursing Home Deaths

 CNN Parrots Cuomo Distortions to Blame Trump for Nursing Home Deaths

Over the Memorial Day weekend, while Fox News Channel was practicing good journalism by informing its viewers about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s attempts to blame the Donald Trump administration for the New York Democrat’s order to force nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients, CNN forwarded the Cuomo administration’s deceptions without correcting them while MSNBC ignored the tragic scandal altogether.

CNN reporters Jason Carroll and Polo Sandoval both ran reports on the subject over the weekend which highlighted criticisms of the governor over the decision, but also aired and allowed to stand his false claims that CDC guidelines required that nursing homes accept COVID patients even though the guidelines actually stated much the opposite by placing restrictions on the circumstances under which COVID patients could be admitted to a nursing home.

At 2:07 p.m. Eastern on Saturday afternoon, Sandoval played a clip of Governor Cuomo from his daily press briefing blaming the Trump administration for the governor’s March 25 executive order forcing New York nursing homes to accept COVID patients:

POLO SANDOVAL: The governor also offered an explanation that we’ve heard in the past — at least the last several days here — saying that the state of New York was pretty much just following the guidance that was issued by the federal government.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): New York’s government followed the President’s agency’s guidance, so that de-politicizes it. What New York did was follow what the Republican-led administration said to do. That’s not my attempt to politicize it — it’s my attempt to de-politicize it. So don’t criticize the state for following the President’s policy.

Sandoval did not question Cuomo’s claim as the CNN reporter then added: “The governor there recognizing this is certainly a politically-charged topic, but nonetheless one many people are calling for a closer look here now.”

A few hours later at 5:43 p.m., Carroll gave his own report on the subject in which he also played a clip of Governor Cuomo’s secretary — Melissa DeRosa — misleadingly quoting the CDC guidelines that were released on March 13 to make it sound like the Trump administration required nursing homes to take COVID patients. 

Carroll went straight to Cuomo blaming Trump as he began his report: “New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says if his opponents are looking for someone to blame for coronavirus deaths at the state nursing homes, look to the federal government.”

After running a similar soundbite of Cuomo that had also been used in Sandoval’s piece, Carroll then showed clip of DeRosa reading from the CDC guidelines to support her boss’s dishonest attempt to blame the President:

JASON CARROLL: The policy Cuomo was referring to was his March 25 executive order which asks nursing homes to take in recovering COVID patients, even if those patients had not been tested to see if they were clear of the virus. That executive order was based on federal guidelines released on March 13 which advised that state nursing homes should accept COVID 19 positive patients if they could care for them. 

MELISSA DEROSA: SECRETARY OF GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, CLIP #1: I just want to reiterate once again that the policy that the department of health put out was in line directly with the March 13  directive put out by CDC and CMS that read, and I quote: “Nursing homes should admit any individuals from hospitals where COVID is present.” Not “could” — “should.” That is President Trump’s CMS and CDC.

In fact, DeRosa was conflating CDC guidelines on COVID-19 patients with its guidelines on non-COVID patients who had spent time in a hospital where they might have been exposed to COVID patients. The guidelines advised that non-COVID patients who might have been exposed “should” be accepted but recommended that they be kept in a different wing for two weeks to make sure they had not contracted the infection from their hospital stay.

As for actual COVID patients, the March 13 CDC guidelines put restrictions on the circumstances under which they could be admitted into a nursing home, but most definitely did not demand that they be admitted. From pages 4 to 5 of the guidelines:

When should a nursing home accept a resident who was diagnosed with COVID-19 from a hospital?

A nursing home can accept a resident diagnosed with COVID-19 and still under Transmission-Based Precautions for COVID-19 as long as the facility can follow CDC guidance for Transmission-Based Precautions. If a nursing home cannot, it must wait until these precautions are discontinued…

The guidelines soon addressed non-COVID patients who had spent time in hospitals:

Note: Nursing homes should admit any individuals that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present. Also, if possible, dedicate a unit/wing exclusively for any residents coming or returning from the hospital. This can serve as a step-down unit where they remain for 14 days with no symptoms (instead of integrating as usual on short-term rehab floor, or returning to long-stay original room).

By contrast, Fox and Friends Sunday actually displayed some of the text from the CDC guidelines to inform viewers that Cuomo and his staff were mis-stating the Trump administration’s guidelines. Co-host Pete Hegseth recalled that governors of other states had chosen not to send COVID-19 patients to nursing homes, and that New York actually had other options where they could have been sent:

PETE HEGSETH: The White House and the federal government put out guidelines. The governors had their own choices. Look at Florida — look at Texas — look at other states where they safeguarded the most vulnerable. Governor Cuomo made the choice even though he had additional capacity with an entire naval hospital and a hospital set up at the Javits Center to take COVID positive patients and put them in the same nursing homes as 85-year-olds — the ones we know are most effected by this — and he’s trying to blame Trump?

On Tuesday’s Fox and Friends, Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce accused Cuomo of lying about the issue and then corrected some of his staff’s misinformation:

By contrast, CNN apparently couldn’t be bothered to check the actual text of the guidelines to see if the Democratic governor and his staff were telling the truth.

Relevant transcripts from CNN and Fox News Channel follow:

CNN Newsroom

5/23/2020

2:07 PM ET 

POLO SANDOVAL: The governor also offered an explanation that we’ve heard in the past — at least the last several days here — saying that the state of New York was pretty much just following the guidance that was issued by the federal government.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): New York’s government followed the President’s agency’s guidance, so that de-politicizes it. What New York did was follow what the Republican-led administration said to do. That’s not my attempt to politicize it — it’s my attempt to de-politicize it. So don’t criticize the state for following the President’s policy.

SANDOVAL: The governor there recognizing this is certainly a politically-charged topic, but nonetheless one many people are calling for a closer look here now. What do we know from the state’s health department? They told CNN that they are still taking a closer look at the numbers. The key numbers that they’re going to have to try to track down here and eventually release will be exactly how many people were admitted after this executive order was issued in March and before it was rescinded by the governor’s office on May 10. That, of course, would be a telling number, but it has done little to quiet not only criticism but also this growing call for a federal investigation.

(…)

CNN

CNN Newsroom

May 23, 2020

5:43 p.m Eastern

ANA CABRERA: Nursing home patients have been among the most vulnerable during this pandemic. Early during the crisis in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order saying that nursing homes could not deny patients based solely on a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus. Some are now saying that may have done more harm than good. CNN’s Jason Carroll has this report. Jason?

JASON CARROLL: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says if his opponents are looking for someone to blame for coronavirus deaths at the state nursing homes, look to the the federal government.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We followed the President’s agency’s guidance, so that depoliticizes it. What New York did was follow what the Republican said to do. That’s not my attempt to politicize it — it’s my attempt to depoliticize it. So don’t criticize the state for following the President’s policy. 

CARROLL: The policy Cuomo was referring to was his March 25 executive order which asks nursing homes to take in recovering COVID patients, even if those patients had not been tested to see if they were clear of the virus. That executive order was based on federal guidelines released on March 13 which advised that state nursing homes should accept COVID 19 positive patients if they could care for them. 

MELISSA DEROSA: SECRETARY OF GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, CLIP #1: I just want to reiterate once again that the policy that the department of health put out was in line directly with the March 13  directive put out by CDC and CMS that read, and I quote: “Nursing homes should admit any individuals from hospitals where COVID is present.” Not “could” — “should.” That is President Trump’s CMS and CDC.

DEROSA CLIP #2: It’s been a national and international tragedy that everybody has had to grapple with, and it is something that we’re trying to learn from every day and move forward.

CARROLL: Just how many possibly ended up in nursing homes across the state, the Associated Press reports more than 4,500 recovering COVID patients were returned to nursing homes in the state following the governor’s executive order.

(…)

CARROLL: Nursing home advocates say if New York state officials had a problem with the federal guidelines, then they should have spoken out about it. And they say because that didn’t happen, it gives even more reason why they say they should have more of a seat at the table — these nursing home advocates should have more of a seat at the table when these policies are being made.

(…)

Fox News Channel

Fox and Friends Sunday

May 24, 2020

PETE HEGSETH: He says it’s Donald Trump’s fault — that’s where it always goes for liberals and leftists today — anything goes wrong, it’s got to be orange man bad — that’s how the left sees it. Here’s the directive from CMS — this is what was sent out.

“When should a nursing home accept a resident who was diagnosed with COVID-19 from a hospital? A nursing home can accept a resident diagnosed with COVID-19 and still under Transmission-Based Precautions for COVID-19 as long as the facility can follow CDC guidance for Transmission-Based Precautions. If a nursing home cannot, it must wait until these precautions are discontinued…”

Here’s the point, guys. The White House and the federal government put out guidelines. The governors had their own choices. Look at Florida — look at Texas — look at other states where they safeguarded the most vulnerable. Governor Cuomo made the choice even though he had additional capacity with an entire naval hospital and a hospital set up at the Javits Center to take COVID positive patients and put them in the same nursing homes as 85-year-olds — the ones we know are most effected by this — and he’s trying to blame Trump?

(…)

Fox News Channel

Fox and Friends

May 26, 2020

BRIAN KILMEADE: He’s trying to get politics out of it by blaming the President’s CDC — is he right?

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, that was a lie. This is what’s so obscene about this dynamic. The number you mentioned — to give people perspective — almost 6,000 people in nursing homes, twice the number of September 11 — and this guy issued an order that was the opposite, effectively, of what the CMS part of the federal government issued regarding guidance for nursing homes.

They specifically that, in fact, if someone is very ill, they should be removed and put into a hospital. The dynamic where a nursing home could accept someone was if — and what they would want is if they happen to be in a hospital where there was a COVID case — not that that person was the patient — and then at the same time, of course, at the same time when he issued his March 25 guidance, Cuomo, he also had the rule that visitors and family would not be allowed inside in the name of stopping the spread of the virus, and yet had an order where he prohibited nursing homes from being able to know if someone had the virus, Brian. He made it impossible you were not allowed to test or ask.

KILMEADE: So you died alone.

BRUCE: It’s infuriating.

KILMEADE: Here’s the March 13 directive — here’s the March 13 directive that you’re referring to. Quote, “A nursing home can accept a hospital patient with COVID-19 … as long as the facility” — nursing home, I should say — “can follow CDC guidance.”

“If a nursing home cannot, it must wait until these precautions are discontinued.” So if you can’t isolate the patient, then you can’t take the patient, It’s not discrimination. Clearly they weren’t able to isolate because these patients went through like an IED inside these insulate homes.

BRUCE: And on top of that, Brian, when he issued his guidance and then in April, he initiated an investigation into the nursing homes, and even when he reversed himself finally on May 10 after six weeks and thousands of deaths — he then again implied that it was the nursing home fault, and that they were going to be under investigation.

This is another reason — by the way, when he issued this order, it was effective immediately — it gave nursing homes no warning — they did not have even the time to prepare if they thought they could — and they treated all nursing homes the same. So then they were under the burden — the nursing home owners — of thinking they were going to lose their license if they didn’t do this, and the guidance said you have no choice, you’re not allowed to know, you’re not allowed to test…