.@cxmacdonald spots a flaw in the Abramowitz brief defending Cuomo's nursing home policies -- a flaw that also blows up one of Cuomo's key talking points about the 3/25 order requiring homes to admit COVID-positive patients. [thread]
The Abramowitz brief, as posted today by the @NYDailyNews, cites a long-standing regulation providing that a nursing home "shall ... accept and retain only those nursing home residents for whom it can provide adequate care." ... nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-edi…
The argument is that, in spite of the strongly worded 3/25 memo, homes always had the option -- and even the obligation -- to turn away COVID-positive patients if they couldn't handle them safely. ...
Here's the problem: The regulation in question -- 10 NYCRR 415.26(i)(1)(ii)] -- was one of many that Cuomo had suspended by executive order on March 18, a week before the March 25 directive was issued. See E.O. 202.5, archived here: govjustice.org/covid-executiv…
Cuomo himself has made the same argument many times since the 3/25 directive became a hot topic. Here is an example taken from his book, as quoted in my report on the issue for the @empirecenter: empirecenter.org/publications/l… Image
Abramowitz cites the regulation in his brief without explaining that Cuomo had suspended it a week earlier. As far as I can tell, Cuomo never mentioned that, either. ...
The idea that a boilerplate regulation would supersede the 3/25 order was always dubious. It was issued in the thick of a pandemic by a health commissioner exercising emergency powers. If nursing homes were supposed to exercise discretion, the order should have said so. ...
Now it turns out that the boilerplate regulation was not even in effect at the time -- as Cuomo should have known all along, because he's the one who suspended it.
Cuomo unsuspended the pre-existing regulation (10 NYCRR 415.26(i)) on May 7, 2020.

On May 10, he issued an order barring hospitals from sending COVID-positive patients to nursing homes, effectively superseding the 3/25 directive. govjustice.org/covid-executiv…

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More from @NYHammond

5 Oct
Available ICU capacity in the Capital Region's hospitals is at 6% -- by far its lowest level of the pandemic -- and dropping fast. forward.ny.gov/early-warning-…
Hospitalizations in the region are up, by still not as high as they were during the winter surge.
In the spring of 2020, the Cuomo administration would not allow regions to reopen from lockdown until available ICU capacity was at 30%. Only one of 10 regions meets that standard now. forward.ny.gov/metrics-guide-…
Read 4 tweets
1 Oct
The issue in this blog post came up at Hochul's briefing yesterday and it was interesting what she said, and did not say, about the various parts of Monday's emergency order. ... empirecenter.org/publications/h…
First, she framed temporarily suspending insurance review of hospital claims as a way of freeing up personnel to pitch in during a staffing shortage, but then says there has been no major shortage so far.
Most of the order focused on easing licensing rules so providers could use practitioners from other states and countries, along with retirees and student nurses.

She did not say that any of those people are being use as of yet ...
Read 11 tweets
29 Sep
A few points about this accentuate-the-positive update about NY's vaccine mandate:

1) It's good the numbers have improved since the mandate was enacted, but 8% to 11% of staff is a lot of people to lose, especially when staffing was already shorter than normal. (1/x)
2) Statewide averages give the big picture, but of course the rates in individual hospitals and nursing homes vary, meaning that many institutions have lost *more* than 8 to 11% of staff. (2/x)
3) It's hard to identify the most affected institutions because for some reason the state has withheld facility-specific data on staffers with only one dose. Instead, it shows the % of staffers who are fully vaccinated. (3/x)
Read 7 tweets
26 Aug
Team Cuomo had a knack for issuing statements that sounded like they set things straight when actually they further muddied the waters. This is a fine example. ...
Because New York's extraordinarily bad first wave hit before the testing was widely available, the state has an unusually large number of deaths that were not lab-confirmed.

Omitting those thousands of victims made the state's death toll *less* accurate, not more accurate. ...
The proper way to deal with this issue is to report deaths in two categories, which is what NYC has done from the beginning. Team Cuomo has never adequately explained why it did not do that. ...
Read 7 tweets
25 Aug
Good news on the transparency front:

@GovKathyHochul_ added the more complete total of COVID deaths to her daily update — an increase of almost 12,000.

Bad news:

Just today, DOH denied my FOIL for details on this data, including dates and locations. governor.ny.gov/news/governor-…
I should have been more specific in my @nydailynews op-ed. nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-ope…
Correction: @GovKathyHochul
Read 4 tweets
24 Aug
Hochul said two things about FOIL, both of which are weak tea.

No. 1: "I will direct state entities to review their compliance with state transparency laws and provide a public report on their findings."

Huh? ...
She's depending on FOIL-flouting agencies to assess their own conduct?

The real bottleneck in many cases has been the governor's office, which reserved the power to block politically sensitive FOILs. An agency self-assessment can't fix that. ...
No. 2: "I have instructed my counsel to come up with an expedited process to fulfill all FOIL requests as fast as possible and post the completed requests publicly on line."

The problem was not slow-turning wheels. It was Zucker, Cuomo, etc., hitting the brakes. ...
Read 4 tweets

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