Todd Lets Cuomo Twist Truth on NY Nursing Home Deaths, Lecture FL/TX

News & Politics

The liberal media wants you to think that Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State of New York was the perfect example of how to tackle the coronavirus crisis. But in reality, they had the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the country and have the highest rate of nursing home cases-to-deaths. Instead of noting those facts during Sunday’s Meet the Press, NBC political director Chuck Todd allowed Cuomo to manipulate the truth while simultaneously lecturing states like Florida and Texas.

As they approached the end of their interview, Todd tentatively broached the subject of New York’s massive number of nursing home deaths without daring to mention the figure. He noted that his guest had “taken some heat” for the number but prefaced the deaths as just the nature of nursing homes:

And final question, we talked about this, about nursing homes before, and you’ve taken some heat on the directive and you said you were following a national directive. But let me ask it again, similarly at this point, do you think these senior centers are safe, period?

Suggesting that he’s only “taken political heat,” Cuomo argued that New York was beating the national average of nursing home deaths as a percentage of total COVID-19 deaths. “[A]lmost 50 percent of the deaths (…) But in New York, we’re number 46 in the nation in terms of percentage of deaths at nursing homes compared to the total percentage. By The New York Times, we’re number 46,” he noted.

To be clear, The New York Times says New York’s nursing home deaths as a percentage of total deaths is 21 percent. But The Times also noted that New York hasn’t been fully reporting their data. “In New York, the case count is often the same as the death count because the state only reports the number of people who have died but not the number of overall infections,” the paper wrote.

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And in crunching the numbers presented by The Times, NewsBusters has figured out that New York’s nursing home death rate compared to infections was 90 percent (89.6). New York reports 7,177 nursing home infections compared to 6,432 nursing home deaths. No other state came close to matching that rate.

Democratic-controlled states like California (23,646), Illinois (21,390), and New Jersey (36,316) all had massive numbers of nursing home infections. But their number of deaths (CA-2,832; IL-3,649; NJ-6,617) didn’t match infections as closely as New York’s did.

Comparing nursing home deaths as a percentage of total deaths, as Cuomo was leaning on, was a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison. Those living in nursing homes usually needed more assistance and had more health conditions that made them vulnerable to the virus. Meanwhile, the general population contained other people (elderly and otherwise) who were also vulnerable. And obviously, more people live outside nursing homes than in them.

That’s not to mention that Cuomo had disastrously ordered infected elderly patients to be returned to their assisted living facilities, thus spreading the virus.

Despite those facts, earlier in the interview, Todd teed up Cuomo to lecture Republican-controlled states like Florida and Texas:

All right. If Governor DeSantis calls you up this afternoon, Governor Abbott calls you up this afternoon of Texas and Florida and they say, “All right, let’s set politics aside and I know we mouthed off at you a little bit, what’s your recommendation? What should we do here?” What would you tell them?

Meanwhile, Todd had the nerve to once call himself a fair and honest political “referee.”

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

NBC Meet the Press
June 28, 2020
10:43:50 a.m. Eastern

CHUCK TODD: During the first peak of the COVID crisis, Governor Andrew Cuomo was one of the faces of the response, giving daily televised press briefings as New York became the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.

Now, cases and deaths are way down in New York and instead of New Yorkers being quarantined when they travel to states like Florida, its New York that is doing the quarantining of out-of-state visitors from places like Florida.

(…)

TODD: All right. If Governor DeSantis calls you up this afternoon, Governor Abbott calls you up this afternoon of Texas and Florida and they say, “All right, let’s set politics aside and I know we mouthed off at you a little bit, what’s your recommendation? What should we do here?” What would you tell them?

ANDREW CUOMO: I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you. I don’t wait for them to call. This is New York. We’re proactive. My team has called their teams and said, “Look, can we help?” When we were in trouble, Chuck, we had states all across the nation who came to help us. We had 30,000 volunteers from across the United States who came to help us. So, I called those states. I said, “any way we can help. We’ve gone through it. We have the equipment, we have the staff, we have the testing protocols, we have the testing software, we have the tracing program. Can we help? Anything you need, ventilators, et cetera.” And that’s the right thing to do from a community point of view and a citizenry point of view.

So, there’s also a parochial interest which is if these states keep going up, we’re going to have a national crisis like we have never seen. They said this was the way to help the economy by reopening. It’s been the exact opposite. Every time the virus goes up, the stock market goes down and if those — if those states continue to increase, you’ll see it go all across the nation. You’ll see New York on the rise again and you’ll see the other states starting to go up even more.

(…)

TODD: And final question, we talked about this, about nursing homes before, and you’ve taken some heat on the directive and you said you were following a national directive. But let me ask it again, similarly at this point, do you think these senior centers are safe, period?

CUOMO: Yeah. Look, there’s — I’ve taken political heat, okay? There are facts and there’s politics. There’s no doubt in nursing homes all across this nation that’s where we saw most of the deaths — not most, but almost 50 percent of the deaths; senior citizens in congregant settings. And it’s becoming more and more clear that the infection in the nursing homes came from the staff that got infected and brought it in.

But in New York, we’re number 46 in the nation in terms of percentage of deaths at nursing homes compared to the total percentage. By The New York Times, we’re number 46. So it’s been unfortunate. In every state we have to do more, we figure it out, but if they want to point fingers, not at New York. We’re 46. You have 45 other states to point fingers at first.

TODD: I understand that. Are these safe? Are these facilities safe in your mind right now?

CUOMO: They are as safe — they are as safe — well, in this state we’re testing every week. Every nursing home employee, right?

TODD: Right.

CUOMO: So, you could argue that they are safer than a senior citizen at home, who is receiving care at home. The safest environment, my mother, stay home, don’t see anyone. If you are at home and you have an aide coming in, that aide is not tested. In a nursing home, the staff is tested once a week and seniors do have to be careful wherever they are.

TODD: Governor Cuomo, I’d love to keep going but I am out of time. I appreciate you coming on, sharing your perspective with us, and stay safe out there.

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