New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) said Wednesday that the widely reported readmission of coronavirus patients to nursing homes at the height of the pandemic in the state "never happened."
Cuomo said that despite a March 25 advisory issued by his administration barring nursing homes from denying admission to patients "solely based on a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19," readmissions never took place. He claimed that, because the state "never needed" those nursing home beds, readmitting COVID-positive patients "just never happened."
Cuomo admitted his administration implemented the policy but said it was only an "anticipatory rule," in case hospitals became overwhelmed with patients.
As a result of the rule, however, nursing homes readmitted over 6,000 patients who tested positive for coronavirus between late March and early May.
Nearly 6,500 New York nursing home patients have died of COVID-19 as of Sept. 28, accounting for about 20 percent of the state’s total coronavirus deaths (32,768). Some experts say that number could be higher, as the state health department does not count those who contracted the virus in a nursing home.
In the same call, Cuomo said his policies "saved lives."
"That's how I sleep at night," he said.