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The difference in efforts to protect seniors from the coronavirus pandemic between New York State Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Florida State Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is "very sad," Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock stated Saturday.
Appearing on "Fox & Friends Weekend" with host Pete Hegseth, Murdock explained that Cuomo's ineffectuality in protecting his most vulnerable population was mainly due to a poor order to state health officials.
In late March, Cuomo announced that nursing homes were required to accept COVID-19 positive patients once they were discharged after becoming more medically stable. In addition, according to Murdock, those patients were not required to be tested following their release.
"As a result, a lot of these folks went back to nursing homes people got sick -- nursing homes which had not been touched by COVID-19 suddenly became hotbeds of COVID-19 -- and unfortunately a lot of seniors in nursing homes started dying in huge numbers," Murdock remarked. "The death toll right now is about 5,300 [or] something like that."
Additionally, nursing home directors have reported they've begged the state for more protective equipment and tests as well as help in relocating positive patients, but pleas have gone unanswered. All of this comes as the number of workers who called out sick steadily rose.
Cuomo has since amended his policy, adding a directive telling hospitals that they must test patients and patients must be negative before being returned to nursing homes. He is also now requiring nursing homes to test staff twice weekly.
While more than 5,000 seniors have passed away at nursing homes across the Empire State, the virus has made its way into 7,500 long-term care facilities nationwide. All over the country, more than 143,000 of their residents and workers have contracted the illness and more than 25,600 have died, according to a New York Times analysis. That number accounts for more than a third of the deaths from the pandemic which is now at a total of almost 86,000 people.
According to Murdock, Florida approached the nursing home crisis in the right way.
"They sent people to make sure the nursing homes had all of the equipment they needed. They gave them additional training on how to avoid infections, And, the result so far has been about 665 folks, seniors dead in nursing homes in Florida," he remarked.
"The death rate in Florida is about three per 100,000. In New York state it's 27.5 per 100,000. So, [that’s] nine times worse," he added. "Absolutely tragic [and] totally, totally unnecessary!"
"And, it would be one thing if all of the other hospitals were full. But, we have the Javits Center about one-third empty. We had the USNS Comfort -- the hospital ship that President Trump set up here – that had 182 beds filled out of a thousand," he continued. "So, it’s not like there weren’t alternatives to send people where they could go and be isolated and not get healthy seniors infected and ultimately killed.
"Andrew Cuomo really needs to be held to account on this and I wish the media would do it.
"I'm hearing a little bit of criticism here in New York, but I don’t hear much nationwide."