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Janice Dean: Cuomo COVID nursing home mandate 1 year anniversary – what grim milestone means for families

Janice Dean: Cuomo COVID nursing home mandate 1 year anniversary – what grim milestone means for families

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Janice Dean: Cuomo COVID nursing home mandate 1 year anniversary – what grim milestone means for families

Last Sunday afternoon, I gathered with grieving family members who lost their loved ones to COVID-19 in nursing homes.  It was part of what was called the “WE CARE” memorial. It was organized as a response to what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in January when the Attorney General’s independent report revealed that his administration deliberately undercounted the number of nursing home residents who died from getting COVID in their long-term care facilities.This is the same governor who now famously said this on Jan 29 this year when asked about nursing home COVID deaths:”Who cares [if they] died in the hospital, died in a nursing home? They died.” NY’S CUOMO INSISTS HE CAN STILL DO JOB AMID SCANDALS, SAYS GOVERNORS CAN HANDLE ‘MULTIPLE SITUATIONS’Our governor has said some pretty heartless things over the last 10 months, but this one was exceptionally cruel.My friends Peter and Daniel Arbeeny decided they wanted to remember the over 15,000 New Yorkers who died by gathering their photos and posting them to a wall outside of the nursing home where their father Norman was being cared for before dying of COVID in April of last year.I consider the Arbeenys my family now. We are bound together in grief and in our shared quest for answers about why our loved ones passed away and what could have been done to prevent it.
Peter Arbeeny with Janice Dean on Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Brooklyn, N.Y. at the “We Care” Memorial Wall.
March 25 marks the one-year anniversary of Gov. Cuomo’s reckless mandate that ordered over 9,000 COVID positive patients into nursing homes. It was in effect for 46 days before his health department finally reversed it and then scrubbed it from their website.I consider the Arbeenys my family now. We are bound together in grief and in our shared quest for answers about why our loved ones passed away and what could have been done to prevent it.I believe it helped kill thousands of our family members during the pandemic and although I cannot prove it, I think it contributed to the deaths of my husband’s parents Michael “Mickey” and Dolores “Dee” Newman.
Janice Dean on March 21, 2021 in front of the We Care Memorial Wall in Brooklyn, N.Y.
I never set out to be an advocate on behalf of my in-laws. But when I kept seeing the governor on television last summer and fall being celebrated and never even being asked the nursing home questions we so desperately wanted the answers to, I decided to tell our story. NY PROBE ON POTENTIAL CUOMO IMPEACHMENT COULD TAKE MONTHS, STATE LAWMAKER SAYSI did it to raise awareness about this New York tragedy.  Over 15,000 seniors are dead and our governor tried to cover up the numbers and blamed everyone else for his mistake.  Why wasn’t this one of the biggest headlines in history?And now, a year later, the governor and his handling of COVID nursing home deaths are finally being investigated. There is a federal and FBI investigation being conducted in New York. They are circling around Cuomo and his top aides.More from OpinionPeople have asked me if I feel some satisfaction in knowing that Governor Cuomo might finally be convicted for his crimes, but I’m not sure if he will ever truly be held accountable. And we’ll never get my husband’s parents Mickey and Dee back. CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTERI do hope that what happened to my family never happens to someone else’s. 
Janice Dean with sister-in-law Donna, her husband Sean, her niece Danielle and Danielle’s boyfriend Chris at the “We Care” Memorial Wall in Brooklyn, N.Y. on March 21, 2021. Dean is holding an image of her in-laws with the words, “These Lives Mattered.” (Courtesy of the author)
We were never able to have wakes or funerals for them, to properly mourn their loss. They unknowingly risked their lives as the virus spread like wildfire through their homes where they lived and were being cared for.They died without family around them. We weren’t allowed into their long-term care facilities to visit them. Many nights I lie awake praying that someone was holding their hand as they took their last breaths.
Janice Dean at the “We Care” Memorial Wall on March 21, 2021 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Another March 25th order should never be allowed again. And going forward we should do everything possible to protect our most vulnerable. Our greatest generation.Meanwhile, the governor continues to blame and deny all wrongdoing.  Despite calls for his resignation from both sides of the aisle, he says he’ll never walk away. There is a motion to start the impeachment process against him in Albany, but truthfully, I don’t have much faith in that process either.What I do believe is every victim should be able to tell their story. Sadly, a year later, 15,000 of them are no longer with us.  So alongside the Arbeeny family and those who stand on the side of the angels, we will continue to try and keep their voices alive. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPBecause you know who cares, Governor Cuomo?We do.CLICK HERE FOR MORE FROM JANICE DEAN


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