New York reporters Jim Mustian, Jennifer Peltz, Bernard Condon, Candice Choi and investigative researcher Randy Herschaft combined for a deeply reported, critical look at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of coronavirus outbreaks in his state, which has suffered the most nursing home deaths in the country. The AP story was followed the next day by Cuomo announcing major changes addressing concerns raised by AP’s reporting.
This was hardly a coincidence. Prior to publication, Cuomo’s administration was given a heads-up for comment and advised of the AP story’s key criticisms, most notably a lack of testing and transparency, and a controversial March 25 directive forcing nursing homes to take recovering COVID-19 patients that has been blamed for accelerating the spread of the virus.
A day after that story appeared, Cuomo made nursing homes the main topic of his Sunday news briefing. He announced that staffers at nursing homes would now face mandatory, twice-a-week diagnostic testing for COVID-19, that he was scrapping the directive forcing nursing homes to take recovering coronavirus patients, and that any new patient at a nursing home would have to test negative for the virus.