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NEWSCHANNEL 13: Stefanik calling for investigation into DOH

Written by Emily Burkhard for NewsChannel 13 on May 22, 2020

The jabs between Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and the Cuomo administration continued Thursday.

They’re at odds over what should be happening under the CDC’s guidelines for discharging COVID-19 patients to long-term care facilities.

On Wednesday Governor Andrew Cuomo defended the state department of health’s policy that mandates nursing homes and assisted living facilities take discharged residents were treated for the virus at the hospital.

“The state followed President Trump’s CDC guidance,” Cuomo said.

In an interview with NewsChannel 13 on Thursday, Stefanik fired back.

“The CDC did not give guidance mandating that nursing homes be forced to accept positive Covid patients,” Stefanik said. “What the CDC recommended was that there needed to be facilities within the nursing home that would be separate if they accepted positive Covid patients.”

NewsChannel 13 checked the CDC recommendations for assisted living facilities re-admitting Covid patients who have been discharged from the hospital. They don’t say anything about the facilities being mandated to accept them, but they do say if the facility can’t provide the care needed in that situation, an alternate facility must be found.

Stefanik and other federal lawmakers are calling for an investigation into the New York State Department of Health, as the number of cases in New York nursing homes far outpaces those in states that have similarly aging populations, like Florida.

Ultimately, Stefanik wants the investigation to lead to answers for her constituents, some of whom didn’t even know their loved one passed from the virus until they saw the death certificate.

“They want to know why that decision was made and most of the families I talk to, they want to make sure that this doesn’t happen again in the future,” Stefanik said.

When asked about the possibility of an investigation into DOH on Wednesday, Cuomo seemed indifferent.

“I don’t welcome it, not welcome it, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “President Trump does what he wants to do. He doesn’t listen to a governor.”

Cuomo has also been vocal about New York paying over $116 billion more in federal taxes than it’s received in federal aid since 2015.

Stefanik said the New York has gotten help with direct aid, increasing the number of available hospital beds and testing capability.

“No other state across the nation has gotten more support from the federal government whether it’s that federal aid the $9 billion, or its the funding to the hospitals or it’s sending the Navy Comfort ship and using the Army Corps of Engineers to build out the Javits Center as well as doubling our testing capacity,” Stefanik said. “That was supported by the federal government.”

Stay tuned to NewsChannel 13 for updates on this story.

You can read the full article at https://wnyt.com/

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