June 23, 2020
Seema Verma, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), told Breitbart News exclusively that New York’s Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other Democrat governors originally issued guidance that contradicted federal guidelines for nursing homes battling the coronavirus pandemic.
“I just want to make it very clear that our guidance was absolutely crystal clear,” Verma said in an exclusive interview late last week. “It was clear and unmistakable. Any insinuation to the contrary is woefully mistaken at best and dishonest at worst. We put out our guidance on March 13. It’s very clear when it says that, I’m actually going to read this to you, it says that: ‘When should a nursing home accept a resident who is diagnosed with COVID-19?’ It says: ‘A nursing home can accept a resident diagnosed with COVID-19 and still under transmission-based precautions,’ which means if this person is infectious you have to take precautions. It says ‘as long as the facility can follow CDC guidance for transmission-based precautions.’ It says: ‘If a nursing home cannot, it must wait until these precautions are discontinued,’ meaning if you are not able to care for this patient—somebody is still positive and you’re not equipped to care for the patient, then you shouldn’t accept the patient into your care. That’s really important because longstanding discharge—when you’re discharging a patient from the hospital, longstanding guidelines require when you transfer them somewhere you transfer them to a place that can take care of their needs whether they’re going home or they’re going to a nursing home or some other facility.”
Verma added later that it is “disingenuous” for Democrats such as Cuomo to claim they were following federal guidelines when they were not.
“I think the most important thing though is I think it’s disingenuous to try to undermine the federal guidelines,” Verma said. “They were absolutely clear and nursing homes across the country adhered to those and that’s why we’ve seen at the vast majority of nursing homes. I just don’t think we should ever put a nursing home in a situation or a patient where we force them to take a patient they are not prepared to care for. That not only jeopardizes the patient but it jeopardizes the health and safety of every single resident in that nursing home.”
Cuomo’s guidance, issued in late March and later rescinded in early May, directly contradicted federal guidance. Other Democrat governors had similarly flawed policies that they have since rescinded, such as Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf, New Jersey’s Phil Murphy, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, California’s Gavin Newsom, and others. The plans these Democrat governors and more put forward in the early days of the pandemic here in the United States forced nursing homes to take COVID-19 positive patients rather than keeping them at a hospital or somewhere else, which seems to have accelerated and amplified the spread and severity of the disease.
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