September 24, 2021

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Why Andrew Cuomo’s dealing with of nursing properties is a scandal

5 min read

ALBANY — Usually I use part of my excellent weekly publication to react to your issues and email messages. But in what can only be described as an unforgivable dereliction of civic obligation, a lot of of you do not subscribe to it.

And so, with an vacant notebook and a deadline looming, I’m likely to present you what you are missing by turning the remarkably valuable place beneath over to your remarks and concerns, intermixed with what will absolutely be witty and smart responses from your beloved columnist. Ready?

Ok, the 1st concern came right after I took Saratoga Springs Assistant Main John Catone to endeavor for suggesting that criticism of his law enforcement section is responsible for an clear uptick in crime in the metropolis and for his vow to “stop your narrative.” People have the correct to criticize their federal government, I wrote, and police in a cost-free place will not stop speech.

To which, Chuck in Wilton replied: “You assume it is just poor timing that there is the premier struggle in 10 many years in Saratoga right right after the Black Lives Subject activists have invested a 12 months calling the law enforcement racists?”

Certainly, I do. Or, I at least never see much in the way of evidence connecting the two. Violence on Caroline Avenue was happening prior to Black Life Issue, and I suspect men and women brawl outside the house bars for the reason that they are drunk and belligerent, not because they have the text of activists swirling all around in their heads.

I know it is well-known in some circles to blame the nationwide increase in violent crime on last year’s protests. But, again, I’m just not convinced that is the cause, and I suspect the extraordinary dislocation and aggravation spawned by COVID-19 is among the the more probably culprits. What’s more, blaming the words and phrases of some for the undesirable actions of other individuals is typically just an attempt to shut persons up.

Alright, next question. Albert Marvell in Scotia wrote: “Why is just not the chief allowed a minimal emotion when supplying his view, and an sincere evaluation of the motive there is a criminal offense hike in Saratoga?” (By the way, I’m editing these email messages for brevity and clarity.)

I have no problem in any way with Catone’s noticeable emotion for the duration of the press convention when he produced his controversial feedback. In reality, I appreciated that he is so visibly bothered by what is happening out there. We want far more of that from general public officers, I assume.

Catone also has just about every right to give his genuine assessment, just as you and I have the right to disagree with him. But the assistant main also promised to stop disagreement. Place it this way: If Joe Biden explained he was heading to end criticism of the IRS due to the fact it potential customers folks to cheat on their taxes, I would hope for outrage. Criticizing the governing administration, even in unpleasant and unfair methods, is as American as apple pie and watery beer. 

Albert went on to say the media is “pushing the narrative of defund the law enforcement,” when John Santangelo of Saratoga Springs, in response to my column about U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik’s relatively minimal rating from the National Association of Law enforcement Businesses, stated it was “unfortunate to see you consume the media Kool Aid.” (But it truly is so delightful!)

John also wrote: “Anybody who has been even partially having to pay interest above the past few of several years knows that ‘Republicans are for defunding the police’ is laughable on its face. The anti-law enforcement information is polling poorly so proponents are seeking to pin the concept on the opposition. Easy politics.”

I never explained Republicans are for defunding the law enforcement. I merely pointed out that, contrary to Stefanik’s claims, most Democrats are also versus what is naturally a nutty thought and that her weak NAPO scorecard suggests the discussion in excess of who supports the police is far more nuanced than she (and several other politicians) would have you feel.

On a different matter, Janice in Troy thinks I am as well tricky on Andrew Cuomo, especially on the topic of nursing households. She writes:

“I have a question, not just for you, but for everyone who has faulted him for his role in the nursing residence ‘scandal’: Where by were being individuals with COVID-19 intended to go? They certainly couldn’t continue to be indefinitely in hospitals — rooms there had been in small offer, if you recall … For a lengthy time, I’ve haven’t recognized this state of affairs.”

Janice is referring to the controversial Office of Wellness purchase, issued on March 25 previous yr, which required nursing homes to acknowledge COVID-19 clients and forbid even tests them. Studies have concluded that the purchase contributed to fatalities. 

Initially, I might note that downstate COVID-19 sufferers could have been moved to the hospital developed inside the Javits Centre, which sat underutilized even when the pandemic was most intense. But I’ve also composed that the buy may well have appeared justifiable at the time, supplied the excessive conditions condition officers ended up fearing for the apex of the crisis.

But it was incorrect, surely, to dismiss the problems nursing households expressed about accepting the patients. It was completely wrong not to abandon the mandate sooner as its outcomes turned crystal clear. 

And it was downright deplorable for Cuomo to subsequently cover the whole variety of nursing household fatalities. The include-up amplified the initial error, and it instructed Cuomo himself assumed that the buy was a miscalculation grave enough to destruction his popularity.

Will not forget about the $5.1 million ebook deal, which the governor may well have been trying to defend when he hid the toll in nursing homes, together with the scrubbing of trustworthy fatality data from a state report, the immunity from lawsuits granted to nursing property house owners, the stonewalling of the Legislature and the threats to damage critics of the plan.

All and all, it actually is a scandal worthy of the ongoing federal investigation — and an indictment of the governor’s character.


Hey look, I have reached the close of my allotted house. A big thank you, as constantly, to all those of you who choose the time to create. I  browse each individual e-mail to the end.

Oh, just before I ignore: If you want to subscribe to the publication, you do so at https://www.timesunion.com/newsletters/churchill/.

[email protected] ■ 518-454-5442 ■ @chris_churchill

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