by Kerry Lutz
Financial Survival Network
New York Penal Code S125.00 defines homicide as follows:
Homicide means conduct which causes the death of a person … criminally negligent homicide… S125.10 …A person is guilty of criminally negligent homicide when, with criminal negligence, he causes the death of another person.
S15.05 Culpability; definitions of culpable mental states.
Paragraph 4 defines “Criminal negligence.” A person acts with criminal negligence with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists (emphasis added). The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation (again emphasis added).
The truth has now come out. At least 1700+ of New York State’s most vulnerable citizens have died as a direct result of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State Health Department’s edict that “[nursing homes] are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”
Since the pandemic began, it has been general knowledge that elderly people with comorbidities are extremely susceptible to Covid 19 and had much higher death rates. China, Italy, Spain and other countries that preceded the US outbreak established this fact. Nursing home residents are most likely to have multiple comorbidities.
The first major US outbreak occurred at the Life Care Center in Kirkland Washington at the end of February. As a result, some 37 elderly passed on. At that time, senior care facilities were declared to be the front lines of the pandemic. Evidently, Messrs. Cuomo and Zucker never took notice.
To deliberately ship actively infected Covid 19 patients to nursing homes, senior care and assisted living facilities was nothing short of a death sentence to the helpless residents. Over the years, we’ve seen numerous nursing home scandals in New York, concerning often dreadful conditions present there. While most New Yorkers weren’t alive or have forgotten the notorious chambers of horrors operated by nursing home exploiter Bernard Bergman, some of us still do. Such operators still exist and are an outgrowth of New York’s insane Medicaid program, which pays the costs of many nursing home residents.
Governor Cuomo and his State Health Commissioner have some splaining to do. Are they guilty of criminally negligent homicide? A look at the statute above states that “a person is guilty of criminally negligent homicide when, with criminal negligence, he causes the death of another person. What is criminal negligence? Again, we look to the statute. Criminal negligence is defined by New York law as “…when he fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation (emphasis added).
It seems obvious that Cuomo and his appointee Howard A. Zucker MD, JD (he was admitted to the bar in 2019) failed to perceive or more probably ignored the risk that would occur by dumping Covid 19 infected patients to nursing homes. No person who watched a newscast in the past 3 months could be oblivious to the deaths that were certain to occur. And it is also clear that the nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.
Now many would argue that Governor Cuomo is clearly an unreasonable person, but not in the context of the law. The reasonable man is one who’s actions are considered reasonable under the circumstances. Giving Cuomo and Zucker as much leeway as possible and understanding that this was an unprecedented emergency in our nation and New York State, was it reasonable to issue this edict? Many beds in Covid 19 provisional facilities went unused. The HS Comfort served few patients during the crisis. The same for the field hospitals in Central Park and in the Javits Convention Center, which cost millions to construct. In addition, there were thousands of unused hospital beds available in Upstate New York and elsewhere.
Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Zucker must immediately be called upon to account for their actions. Perhaps they have a reasonable explanation. Whatever their rationale, lives have been lost and someone has to be held accountable.
Unfortunately, the very same thing happened in multiple states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California (which upon realizing the consequences quickly discontinued the practice). We will refrain from any political observations here.
Federal rules also govern nursing home containment of infectious diseases. The section on preventing infections mandates that the facility must isolate residents when the infection control program determines it is needed to prevent spread of infections; that the facility must prohibit employees with communicable diseases… from direct contact with residents or their food “if direct contact will transmit the disease…” Clearly the states’ mandatory admissions forced nursing homes to ignore these safeguards.
Compelling nursing homes to accept Covid 19 patients without proper equipment, training and disease mitigation steps, was a death sentence to thousands of elderly in New York and around the country. If this isn’t a gross violation of the residents’ constitutional rights, then clearly the document has lost all importance. And where is the US Department of Justice and the FBI who should be investigating this travesty.
Finally, in Pennsylvania Trans Woman Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine removed her mother from a personal care home after ordering nursing homes to accept Covid patients. Clearly this is an indication that the good doctor understood the risks of what she was doing and the vulnerability of the people she was supposed to be protecting. It’s no coincidence that the overwhelming majority of deaths in PA (at least 2400) were in elder care facilities. If this doesn’t warrant an FBI probe, then what does?