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NY state website deletes Gov. Cuomo's order forcing nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients

The March 25 directive has disappeared amid controversy

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)/(Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

A controversial March 25 directive issued by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) ordering nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients has been removed from the state's health department website, as the governor faces increased scrutiny for implementing the rule that has been linked to the deaths of thousands of people.

What are the details?

Fox News reported that "the web page that once contained the order now directs to a page indicating that the file is 'not found.' The archive indicates that the deletion occurred sometime after May 5, around the time that criticism over New York's nursing home fatalities intensified."

But as Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce pointed out, "the internet is forever," and several sources have dug up the order, showing that it states: "No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. NHs are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission."

Last week, the Associated Press reported:

Cuomo, a Democrat, on May 10 reversed the directive, which had been intended to help free up hospital beds for the sickest patients as cases surged. But he continued to defend it this week, saying he didn't believe it contributed to the more than 5,800 nursing and adult care facility deaths in New York — more than any other state — and that homes should have spoken up if it was a problem.

The governor has also blamed the policy on President Trump, saying over weekend, "New York followed the president's agencies' guidance. What New York did was follow what the Republican Administration said to do. That's not my attempt to politicize it. It's my attempt to depoliticize it. So don't criticize the state for following the president's policy."

When asked about the deleted order on Tuesday, a Cuomo spokesperson did not tell Fox News whether the governor's office had anything to do with the March 25 order being scrubbed from the DOH website.

But the governor's communications director, Peter Ajemian, explained, "DOH posted updated guidance on the original March 25 guidance which barred nursing homes from discriminating against COVID patients."

Ajemian also insisted that the governor did not reverse the March 25 mandate as the Associate Press had reported, saying, "He didn't reverse or rescind anything. The order is still in effect. He did add a directive, this one directed at hospitals, saying they must test patients and the patients must be negative before being sent back to a nursing home. And he is requiring nursing homes to test staff twice a week."

One last thing…
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