Another Potentially Deadly Idea From Gov Cuomo - Quietly Creates 'Prison Nursing Home' Upstate
It looks like New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo didn't learn from his nursing home fiasco over the last few months because he seems to be creating the same deadly COVID19 scenario. This time with elderly state inmates. Cuomo had the option to release the elderly inmates, an act that I believe should be done under extreme scrutiny if at all, or even quarantine the vulnerable inmates. Cuomo created an inmate nursing home to house the elder inmates together in a facility that is less than two hours away from the Canadian border.
The decision nearly slipped by unnoticed if not for a whistleblower at the Intersecpt who describes the location as 'tucked away in the mountainous north country' of New York. The facility previously held incarcerated teens between the ages if 16-17-years-old, set to be prosecuted as adults. The Intercept writer discovered that as of May, the young adults have been moved out to make room for the state's elderly prisoners as some warped makeshift 'nursing home prison'.
"In the last month, 96 elderly male prisoners have been transferred to the isolated Adirondack prison. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the plan as a way to ensure safety for aging incarcerated people, who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 complications. The northerly New York region has seen some of the lowest coronavirus rates in the state. But, as of Wednesday morning, at least one person incarcerated at the prison had already tested positive for the coronavirus, local news reported."
This is building up to be another failed and potentially deadly 'containment' plan of Gov. Cuomo's who has still yet to face consequences for sticking COVID-19 positive patients in nursing homes before they were officially cleared by medical staff. Facilities that were not prepared to care for, much-less treat, COVID patients. That decisions eventually lead to thousands of casualties and new infection cases from inside those homes.
“This plan runs directly counter to public health, racial justice, and criminal justice evidence, and instead promotes mass incarceration, family separation, racism, and the needless punishment of incarcerated older people,” said a June letter signed by over 80 social and racial justice organizations that was sent to Cuomo, New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “It also threatens to replicate the public health crisis experienced in nursing homes across the state.”
Some 6,000 or more nursing home patients died in New York from the novel coronavirus and complications. While the Governor's idea that North Country has seen significantly less COVID cases, transferring potentially positive patients from other state-run facilities is extremely reckless. Especially if these inmates are not tested and confirmed to be clear before transferring them. Since one inmate has already reportedly tested positive- I doubt that's happening.
North Country may not be so 'COVID-free if inmates spread the virus and workers unknowingly carry it out of the facility.
“If one man is Covid-positive, this could transfer their plan from a prison nursing home to a death camp,” said Jose Saldana, director of the Release Aging People in Prison Campaign, who served 38 years in prison himself. Saldana spoke on Monday evening alongside local activists at a small social-distanced press conference in front of the entrance to Adirondack Correctional Facility, which is hidden behind thick bushes. “Our communities need these elders. I’m one of them.”
Gov. Cuomo has recently boasted about his State's victory over the virus but news like this makes me very suspicious. Let me know what you think in the comments below.