Governor Cuomo claims Trump convinced American their loved ones died due to nursing home policy

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday blamed President Donald Trump for convincing people that the governor’s controversial March 25 nursing home mandate was responsible for 6,600 deaths

The Democratic governor made the comments during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” discussing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and how his state plans to handle it in the future.

FILE: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a ceremony unveiling a statue of Mother Frances Cabrini, the patron saint of immigrants, in Battery Park in New York. 
(AP)

Asked to respond to families who believed a death of their loved one could have been prevented with a different policy, Cuomo instead blamed the president for creating that impression in the first place.

“It’s cruel to say to the families who lost people in nursing homes, ‘Well this could’ve been prevented by a different government policy.’ It makes their pain worse. It is not true,” Cuomo said.

The governor then accused the president of creating a fake narrative as a “counterattack” on COVID.

Cuomo is regularly blamed for thousands of deaths in New York's nursing homes after his controversial policy in late March required nursing homes to take in patients so long as they were medically stable. The nursing homes were prohibited from testing incoming residents for the virus before they arrived.

More than 6,300 COVID-positive patients were admitted to nursing homes between March 25 and May, according to a report from the New York state health department.

The high number of admitted patients has been widely blamed for the state’s official care home death toll of more than 6,600. An analysis from the state health department later determined that there was no causal link.

President Trump and Governor Cuomo have traded shots over the other’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, the governor claimed the president had “caused” the coronavirus outbreak in New York by not banning travel from Europe sooner.

"Donald Trump caused the COVID outbreak in New York,” Cuomo said during a press briefing. “That is a fact. It’s a fact that he admitted, and the CDC admitted, and Fauci admitted.”

And in his new memoir released Tuesday, Cuomo said Republicans have unfairly politicized the thousands of patient deaths at New York nursing homes.

"We have seen how the virus is confronted and defeated," he said. "New York didn't do everything right. But there are lessons we can learn that will lead to victory."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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