Washington, D.C. – After the Energy and Commerce Committee hearing conducting oversight on the Trump Administration’s response efforts to COVID-19, E&C Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) joined Elizabeth MacDonald on Fox Business to discuss the hearing, as well as the consequences of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) deadly mistake of forcing COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes in New York.
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“…It was a good hearing. I thought they laid out the good work the administration has done and what lies ahead for the future. The Democrats spent their time just bashing the president and blaming others. But what we tried to dig in on is are we going to be ready for the fall? Where are we with testing? Where are we with the vaccine and with treatments? And no administration has worked harder or faster to get answers, to get supplies, to get equipment and to move forward than the Trump administration has. So I think it was a good hearing overall. I think we finally got to the facts of the matter and are able to talk about what lies ahead and how we’re going to be ready to address whatever comes at us this fall.”
“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) put out guidance March 13th. He [Governor Cuomo] did his executive order March 25th. The CDC has also been very clear on this. We knew seniors were being attacked by this virus more than anybody else. I think Governor Cuomo’s executive order, which defied science, will go down as the deadliest mistake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a horrible loss of life. Unnecessary. And to his idea that somehow New York was no worse off than other states – explain why the rate of death of nursing home patients is five times of that in New York of that in Florida. I’ll tell you why. Because Governor Cuomo sent sick nursing home patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 back into nursing homes that were not ready or prepared. And then ordered that they could not be tested for COVID-19. Unlike Governor DeSantis in Florida who realized seniors were most vulnerable and went the other direction.”
“These aren’t just numbers. These aren’t just patients. These are fathers and mothers and grandfathers and grandmothers whose entire life depended on proper care. He defied the guidance of CMS. He went about his own way with his executive order. And as a result, there are five times higher death rates among seniors in nursing homes in New York than in Florida. The same thing happened basically in New Jersey and Michigan as well. California started down this path and then immediately reversed course, and they’re at like two percent… New York is a horrible example of bad governance, bad leadership that not only was deadly but also unnecessarily put all of the workers at risk as well. And so it made no sense.”
“My state of Oregon did it much better because the nursing homes’ association said we’re going to wall off these nursing homes; that’s where the vulnerable populations are. They were way ahead of the curve. And so we’ve been in much better shape. New York – the worst example, the deadliest example, didn’t need to happen and it all happened on Governor Cuomo’s watch under his pen.”