By Kathy Kahn
One New Yorker protesting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s actions recently took this message across the southern coastline: THE GOV KILLED NANA.
The Governor’s decision to send sick seniors to public nursing home—and his slam-dunk refusal to allow an investigation into the disproportionate number of deaths among the most vulnerable–prompted one grieving soul to share his angst in public. He did it by towing his sentiments on a propeller plane along the coast on Labor Day weekend.
The unidentified pilot got his point across to thousands of people out making the most of the picture-perfect weather. This reporter was enjoying the sun and sand at Jones Beach when the tiny plane flew over. Some shouted messages of support to the pilot or waved as he went by. Others nodded in silent agreement.
Cuomo’s March 25, 2020 order mandating public nursing homes to accept CV19-positive patients remained in effect for several weeks until finally revoked in late May. The blame for the number of deaths in those facilities has been placed on public nursing home administrators and staffers, who stand accused of letting the virus spread unchecked.
The Department of Justice-Civil Rights Division is now attempting to obtain data from New York on the number of elderly patients diagnosed with coronavirus who were sent to die in its state-run nursing homes. Cuomo’s urgent pleas to Pres. Donald Trump for help brought USS Comfort to New York Harbor. In addition, the Jacob Javits Center and other FEMA-built hospitals were set up around downstate after Cuomo insisted they would be needed. However, those safer havens remained nearly empty throughout the crisis.
Cuomo has been conspicuously quiet about the holiday weekend incident, but his senior advisor, Richard Azzopardi, dismissed the pilot or pilots as “conspiracy nuts” pushing their own agenda. Health Commissioner Howard Zucker hasn’t done anything to reassure the public but sits nodding loyally during Cuomo’s daily Power Point pontificating.
Adding to the truly tragic comedy of errors, the Governor now holds President Donald Trump personally responsible for allowing CoV19 to ravage New York City, Long Island and the mid-Hudson. “Trump is actively trying to kill New York City. It’s personal,” he declared last week during one of his daily media extravaganzas.
The Department of Justice is looking for answers. Grieving families want them, too. Will New York’s Silent Majority finally find its voice?