‘You can’t save everyone’: Cuomo changes tone on coronavirus deaths

Amid new outrage over the high coronavirus death toll in New York nursing homes, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) Cuomo is now of the opinion that “you can’t save everyone” — a marked change in tone from his earlier statements, critics noted.

The 180

It was just at the end of March that Cuomo was insisting that no one is “expendable.”

“My mother is not expendable,” he wrote on Twitter. “Your mother is not expendable. We will not put a dollar figure on human life. We can have a public health strategy that is consistent with an economic one. No one should be talking about social Darwinism for the sake of the stock market.”

Now, however, the governor seems to have adopted a new mindset.

“As a society, you can’t save everyone,” he told reporters on Friday. “You’re gonna lose people, that’s life. But we did everything we could.”


Cuomo’s most recent comment came in response to a question about the number of nursing home deaths that New York has seen. With over 5,000 such deaths, New York is in the lead, as it is with coronavirus numbers in general.

Many have placed the blame for this directly on Cuomo and his administration.

One issue cited by critics is the lack of transparency in the reporting of coronavirus infections and deaths in nursing home facilities. Another is a state mandate that required nursing homes to accept individuals known to have tested positive for COVID-19. That mandate was reversed last week.

Critics have also taken issue with Cuomo’s failure to provide nursing homes with personal protective equipment — something which Cuomo claims is “not the state’s job,” citing the fact that nursing homes are private entities.


Responding to criticism last week, Cuomo said, “We’ve tried everything to keep it out of a nursing home, but it’s virtually impossible … Now is not the best time to put your mother in a nursing home. That is a fact.”

Indeed, when Cuomo made that comment, perhaps when he was still of the mindset that no one’s “mother is expendable.”

Now, however, that he has changed over to “you can’t save everyone,” it is really, really, “not the best time to put your mother in a nursing home,” particularly in New York.

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