May 23, 2020 | 7: 12pm
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces updates on the spread of the coronavirus today.
A testy Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday again blamed federal guidance — not himself — for New York’s deadly policy of shunting thousands of coronavirus patients from hospitals into nursing homes.
“New York followed the president’s agency’s guidance,” Cuomo said during his daily briefing on Saturday, in response to questions about his March 25 directive that nursing homes not turn down COVID-19 patients.
“What New York did was to follow what the Republican administration said to do. Don’t criticize the state for following the presidents policies,” he said.
There are 3,094 confirmed nursing home COVID-19 deaths in New York, a lower number than in any of the surrounding states, officials say.
But the governor insisted he would not be drawn into a grudge match with the federal government.
“I’m a big boy. I refuse to politicize this discussion,” he said. “I have no political agenda, I have no political aspirations, there’s no politics here.”
Blame for the nursing home deaths and the misguided policy that contributed to them have been a longstanding thorn in the governor’s side.
“They should ask President Trump,” about the deaths, Cuomo griped Wednesday. “I think that will stop the conversation.”
According to an Associated Press tally, more than 4,500 COVID-19 patients were sent to nursing homes under the state directive — a tally the wire service says Cuomo has not addressed.