Janice Dean says she was disinvited from COVID nursing home hearing where she expected to testify

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Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean blasted New York state Democrats after being disinvited from testifying at hearing regarding coronavirus-related policies involving nursing home patients.

Dean, who lost two in-laws to coronavirus while they were staying at different eldercare facilities, has long been a major critic of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to order nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients despite health experts’ warnings that older people and those with preexisting conditions were more at risk of contracting and dying from the virus.

In a Twitter thread, Dean explained that she had been invited to testify at the Monday hearing last week and that she expected to receive a formal request on Friday.

But it never came. And Dean is blaming the Assembly’s majority Democrats.

“I was told over a week ago I would be welcome to testify at tomorrow’s nursing home hearings in New York. A formal request was expected on Friday, but then all of a sudden I wasn’t on the list anymore. The democrats didn’t even have the decency to respond to me,” she wrote.

“The only person that emailed me back was Republican assemblyman @Byrne4NY who not only passed on his condolences, requested repeatedly to his colleagues and fellow lawmakers that I be allowed to speak as someone who lost both in-laws to COVID 19 in NY eldercare facilities,” Dean added.

“I can only assume the reasoning behind the sudden cancellation. I’ve never in my life been a political person, but the circumstances I’ve found myself in has given me no choice but to be a voice for the thousands who don’t have one.  And I will continue to speak out,” the meteorologist noted further.

She also ripped what she believes is little more than a half-hearted effort by Democrats so they can later claim they looked into the issue.

“It would’ve been much easier if they let me have 5 minutes to tell my story tomorrow. These nursing home hearings are pure political theater pretending to “look” like they want answers and accountability. A fully independent, bipartisan investigation is needed now more than ever,” Dean said.

In the latter part of March, Cuomo, through the state health department, ordered nursing home facilities to accept COVID-19-infected patients.

Health professionals in the state ripped Cuomo for the decision. One of them, Elaine Mazzotta, a nurse whose mother at a Long Island nursing home in April, said the order led to an acceleration of deaths in nursing homes from the virus.

“The way this has been handled by the state is totally irresponsible, negligent, and stupid,” Mazzotta told The AP. “They knew better. They shouldn’t have sent these [COVID-infected] people into nursing homes.”

In April, amid reports that nursing homes were having difficult protecting non-infected patients from those with COVID-19, Cuomo blamed the eldercare facilities while taking no responsibility for helping them provide better, safer care.

“We have been helping them with more PPE but, again, it’s not our job,” Cuomo said. “You’ll be out of business if you’re not providing your staff with the right equipment. You’re out of business. That we can do.”

He added that eldercare facilities “have to do the job they’re getting paid to do, and if they’re not doing the job they’re getting paid to do, and they’re violating state regulations, then that’s a different issue — then they should lose their license.”

Cuomo also dodged responsibility in May, claiming it was “above” his pay grade to act more quickly to mitigate the spread of the virus, though he has frequently accused President Donald Trump of failing to do so.

In May, The Associated Press published an analysis noting that at least 4,300 coronavirus-infected patients had been ordered into nursing homes by then, leading several to speculate that they directly contributed to an increase in elder care facility deaths.

Immunologists and other health experts knew in March that the elderly were far more prone to catching COVID-19 and dying from it after the disease ravaged nursing homes in Washington state.

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Jon Dougherty

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