WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed took to task a Harvard Medical Professor during a hearing this week to discuss how Governor Andrew Cuomo and other governors handled COVID-19 in nursing homes.
David Grabowski, PhD, testified during the House Ways and Means hearing. Reed’s questioning stemmed from Cuomo’s executive order March 25 ordering COVID-19 positive senior citizens to be placed in nursing homes for treatment.
“Dr. Grabowski, let me cut to the chase. Are you advocating, as an expert in this field, that COVID-19 positive seniors should be ordered to go into nursing home facilities like the March 25 order of New York State?” Reed asked.
“No, I’ve been pretty clear, Congressman, on that issue that I think that was a mistake, but I want to clarify-”
“Well, I appreciate you acknowledging the mistake,” Reed interjected. “Has Governor Cuomo, or the four other governors, acknowledged that was a mistake, Dr. Grabowski?”
“No, but what he has explained is that is was consistent with CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) guidance,” Grabowski replied. “I’ll go back to the March 13 CMS Guidance and-”
“So you’re also misrepresenting the fact on that issue that the independent fact checkers indicated that was mostly false, if you were aware of that, correct,” Reed interjected. “CMS is at fault for this? Is that what you’re saying?”
Grabowski says the CMS Guidance was “pretty clear” on March 13. The professor testified that “nursing homes were guided to admit individuals that they would normally admit to their facilities, including individuals from hospitals were a case of COVID-19 was/is present.”
“Now, was it a good policy? No, I think it was a mistake, but was it–” Grabowski began.
“Doctor Grabowski, I appreciate it, but to try to sugar coat the 6,300 deaths in New York, and I think the number is twice that, in my opinion, to somehow say, because we are going to play with percentages, we did a great job in New York is appauling to me, it’s offensive to me, and it’s offensive to those 10,000-plus seniors and their families that died as the result of that order, in my humble opinion, that we are trying to sugar coat and whitewash this conclusion,” Reed said.
Reed’s full questioning can be found here.
WNYNewsNow will continue to cover the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, putting facts over fear.