In his book American Crisis, Andrew Cuomo addressed his nursing home policy in the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic at some length. It was always a defensive, tone-deaf account; given what we now know about his data falsification, it is outrageous. A thread... (1/x)
"The most painful aspect of the COVID crisis has been its
devastating effect on our elderly in nursing homes," he writes. "Understanding the threat, on March 13, we were taking every precaution that we could think of."
"Even before New York had a single COVID death, we banned visitors from going into nursing homes for fear that they might be transmitting the virus, and we required PPE, temperature checks, and cohorting of residents with COVID."
"By early spring, Republicans needed an offense to distract
from the narrative of their botched federal response—and they needed it badly. So they decided to attack Democratic governors and blame them for nursing home deaths."
"The entire episode was truly despicable. Imagine having lost a loved one in a nursing home. You are already questioning yourself about whether you should have removed them and then you hear their life was lost because of a government blunder."
"Unfortunately, although I tried, I never successfully communicated the facts on this situation," Cuomo writes, appallingly.
"The Trump forces had a simple line: 'Thousands died in nursing homes,'" Cuomo writes, acknowledging, at least, that this "was true."
"But they needed to add a conspiracy, which was that they died because of a bad state policy that 'mandated and directed' that the nursing homes accept COVID-positive people.'"
What follows is an elaborate, legalistic defense of state policy, which Cuomo insists was not that nursing homes were "mandated and directed" to accept COVID-positive patients but that patients could not be rejected "solely on the basis" of COVID status. What is the difference?
"No law or policy would have ever required a nursing home to take any COVID positive person," he insists. "The policy was that nursing homes couldn’t discriminate, not that they had to accept. That makes all the difference in the world."
But it is in his description of the data that the governor is at his most outrageous. "The facts totally defeated the Republican claim," he writes. "This was not even a New York–specific issue. Quite the opposite."
"New York was number forty-six out of fifty in the nation when it came to percentage of deaths in nursing homes. There were only four states with a lower percentage of nursing home deaths, and New York had a much worse situation to manage."
"But this was all politics. No one wanted to hear the facts." Just imagine writing that, given what we know now about the state's concerted data blockade. (x/x)

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More from @dwallacewells

12 Feb
"They're going to be chasing variants around the globe for the foreseeable future, and have made a death pact for endemic spread—it's never going to go away." says @gregggonsalves, in a great podcast with @jameshamblin and @maevehiggins. (1/x)…
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12 Feb
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"And you say to them I can give two doses to you or to you but then the other person gets nothing. Or I can give one dose to both of you."
"This is what I know. At the very least, one dose is likely to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death. Two doses will probably even prevent clinical disease with B.1.1.7."
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Seasonality, vaccines, variants, caseloads—the country is in a confusing place right now. I spoke with ⁦@michaelmina_lab⁩, probably the most incisive epidemiological thinker in this pandemic, about all of it. A thread of his many observations (1/x).…
“My personal feeling is we are seeing the benefits of seasonality hit, which I know some of my colleagues don’t agree with.” The conventional wisdom is that seasonality wouldn’t abate before the spring, but “it’s not uncommon for coronaviruses to essentially start dropping now.”
“Most of the known coronaviruses have something on the order of a three-month window where they’re really infectious — when they’re really transmitting.” We may be leaving that window behind now.
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“The virus still has a huge amount of kinetic energy out there in society. And what we’ve learned is even when you take the kinetic energy out, there’s just a huge amount of potential energy left.” ⁦@DrMikeRyan to ⁦@HelenBranswell⁩ (1/x)…
“And unless and until a huge proportion of the world’s population is immune to this virus, the potential energy in the virus will remain. It’s a fact.”
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“Pandemic anxiety has turned lately to the question of viral evolution—the possibility that the disease might be outracing our efforts to contain it.” Of all the new strains, the Brazilian variant may be most concerning. (1/x)…
“In the Amazonian city of Manaus, where antibodies had been previously estimated in 76% of the population, there has been a horrifying and deadly dramatic second wave, right in the middle of Brazilian summer in a place believed to have already developed true herd immunity.”
“A new ‘Comment’ published Wednesday in the Lancet surveys what we know about the Manaus variant, and offers four possible explanations for what has happened there. None of them are good. Three are quite terrifying.”
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20 Jan
The world has emitted a quarter of all the carbon it has ever produced in the twelve years since Joe Biden was inaugurated as vice-president in 2009.
Since 2009, and the last time a Democratic president was inaugurated, about 400 billion tons of carbon have been emitted into the atmosphere.
Back then, there were 386 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere, 36 above the "safe" level of 350 ppm. Today the figure is 414.
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