No, Gov. Cuomo, New York’s nursing home carnage is your fault: Goodwin

Another day, another scapegoat. Or two.

For months, Gov. ­Andrew Cuomo has been desperate to find somebody, anybody, to blame for the nursing-home carnage he helped to cause. The list of those he blamed was blasphemous — it started with God. It was ludicrous when he later aimed at President Trump and The Post.

His latest bid is simply scandalous. Cuomo has the nerve to blame grieving family members and heroic nursing-home staffers, charging they were the ones who infected and killed as many 12,000 elderly and helpless residents.

Desperation is no excuse. This is shamelessness on stilts. And it is heartlessly cruel to blame the victims.

The outrageous claims came in a report released by state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, along with hospital administrators. Conveniently, the report they prepared absolves all of them of any responsibility. What a coincidence!

Coverups don’t get any more brazen. Or less credible.

The fact remains that Zucker wrote, with obvious hospital ­input, the March 25 order forcing all nursing homes to take people infected with the coronavirus. It ultimately resulted in 6,326 sick patients being transferred from hospitals to nursing homes between March 25 and May 8.

The homes and other long-term-care facilities were given no warning, advice or help in preparing to receive those patients. There were no inspections to learn whether the facilities had space and staff to segregate COVID patients from the long-term residents, most of whom were especially vulnerable to the virus.

The order was so flawed that it even blocked the facilities from asking if those being transferred had tested positive for the virus. All those demands run counter to federal recommendations and requirements.

Many if not most of the staffs in nursing homes had insufficient or inferior protective gear, which is almost certainly why many of the workers became infected. Later, when the state did begin to send some equipment, it always included body bags.

Yet Cuomo said Tuesday that “it is that the staff got infected, they came to work, and they brought in the infection.” His only basis for making that claim is the hope that it will take the heat off him.

Based on the timing of the outbreaks at nursing homes, it is far more likely that the infections traveled in the opposite direction: many staff members got infected at their jobs, then took the disease home to their families and neighbors.

Cuomo also tried to clear himself by saying family and other visitors weren’t banned from nursing homes until March 13, a suggestion that families imported the disease. Again, there is no evidence, no contact tracing, just a self-serving assertion.

While there may have been isolated cases of infected, asymptomatic visitors, the fact remains that the nearly 600 facilities involved did not have significant numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths until the days and weeks following the March 25 order. Some had zero cases until then.

The insistence that the order played no role won’t wash. For one thing, Cuomo’s office claims the Zucker report was “peer reviewed,” but only by organizations that have a stake in its conclusions.

For another, in addition to The Post, which first recognized the lethality of the order, numerous other media outlets have independently confirmed the consequences. In this case, that’s peer review worth the name.

Indeed, it became so obvious that the March 25 order was a fatal blunder that Cuomo effectively rescinded it on May 10. Then, with a quick pivot and a grinding of gears, he shifted into an ­unconscionable hunt for scapegoats.

And hasn’t stopped. Some days, there is more than one. Trump is a frequent target, with Cuomo saying recently that the president “makes up facts, he makes up science.”

He also accused the president of being in “denial of the problem” and added, “He is facilitating the virus, he is enabling the virus.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s because many people say exactly the same things about Cuomo.

Nonetheless, I still believe the governor can and should do the right thing and stop trying to duck responsibility. His refusal to accept the reality of what he did has added to the pain of thousands of families who lost their parents, their grandparents, their siblings, without a chance to visit and say goodbye.

Many families say that, at the height of the pandemic onslaught, they were unable even to reach anyone in the facilities to get information. Their only contact would come later, with a call from a harried nurse or administrator saying their relative had passed away.

Then came the grinding complexities of arranging funerals and getting accurate death certificates, all of which added to their anguish.

The stories are heartbreaking, yet Cuomo has never heard them. He has, to my knowledge, not returned a single one of the numerous phone calls or letters relatives sent him, seeking answers. Nor has he made any effort to hold even virtual meetings with those whose grief is boundless.

This is not lead­ership. This is cowardice.

De Blasio’s budget BS

Reader Ken Convoy, noting that Mayor Bill de Blasio said the 16 percent cut in the police budget won’t lead to less crime fighting, has the logical followup. He writes, “If de Blasio can do that to the police, why can’t he cut 16% from all other agencies to solve the deficit while still maintaining services?”

Don looks petty bad

Many years ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates had a gem of a radio sportscaster named Bob Prince, who had a novel way of projecting optimism in the face of defeat. When the Pirates trailed late in the game, Prince would predict a miracle comeback by insisting, “We got ’em just where we want ’em.”

Maybe that’s what President Trump is doing. Maybe he’s content to let Joe Biden build up a big lead so he can shock the world with another stunning victory.

Who knows? The search for what the president is thinking leaves no good choices. Either he’s concluded he’s toast, or he’s banking on a miracle.

How else to explain his petty tweet-sniping at Bubba Wallace, the only black professional NASCAR driver, over the claim that somebody put a noose in his garage at Talladega? The FBI investigated, said the rope had been there since last year, and thus wasn’t directed at Wallace, which should have been the last word.

But Trump revived the story Monday by tweeting a demand that Wallace apologize for the “hoax.”

Later, the most powerful man in the world criticized the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins for moving toward changing their mascot names.

Meanwhile, with Trump’s Gallup approval down to 38 percent, a decline of 11 points since April, the election is shaping up as a landslide defeat for the incumbent. If so, expect the Dems to also take the Senate and hold the House.

What a world that would be.

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