New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) blamed the Trump administration on Tuesday for the high rate of nursing home deaths in his state during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We followed federal guidance on the nursing homes," Cuomo said on NBC after being asked whether his mandate to return seniors recovering from the coronavirus to nursing homes was a mistake.
"We had more people die than any other state. That's a fact. The reason that happened was because we had the virus coming from Europe when the federal government told us the virus was coming from China. And we had no screening on people coming from Europe," he said.
Cuomo was roundly criticized for his decision to return seniors recovering from the virus to care facilities in his state during the height of the pandemic. Cuomo reversed the policy on May 10, but he did not blame the Trump administration for the state's policy at the time. Instead, he affirmed the directive and placed the blame on nursing homes for accepting patients they could not care for safely.
Cuomo in May also shifted the blame for his state's situation by saying the virus came from Europe rather than China.
"We were all told about the China virus, the China virus. This virus came from Europe," he said in an interview on MSNBC.
While the Trump administration introduced measures on March 12 to screen passengers arriving from Europe for symptoms of the virus, there were no coronavirus tests for such passengers. The administration also banned all flights from Europe, with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland, in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.