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Fitness Coalition, LI Law Firm Spearhead Lawsuit Against Cuomo

SYOSSET, NY —Two weeks after Michigan’s Supreme Court overturned the continued emergency executive orders of Gov. Whitmer, a coalition of business owners on Long Island are hoping their own lawsuit will achieve the same result in New York.

The New York Fitness Coalition, an advocacy group of gym owners who came together during the coronavirus pandemic, is leading the class-action lawsuit. A news conference to announce the lawsuit is being held Wednesday at the Sysosset office of The Mermigas Law Group, P.C.

Charlie Cassara founded the New York Fitness Coalition, which sued Gov. Cuomo in July, seeking an injunction of Cuomo’s orders in order for gyms to reopen. This lawsuit, Cassara, says is a broader effort to declare the extended emergency executive orders that Cuomo uses to mandate the COVID-19 business and school regulations as unconstitutional and illegal.

“This wasn’t his job,” Cassara told Patch. Once the original aims of the state of emergency were fulfilled in the early months of the pandemic, the unilateral executive authority of the governor’s emergency powers were no longer needed, or legal, he says.

Cassara owns a health club, SC Fitness, with two Long Island locations. He tells Patch that the regulations his industry has to operate under are “unsurvivable.”

“33 percent capacity is a joke, and then you add six feet, contact tracing—We can’t live under these orders.”

Representatives from other industries including restaurant owners, as well as teachers and parents concerned about the impact of the mandates on education, are also involved in the suit, Cassara says.

“Now regular citizens of New York can jump on board. Cuomo keeps saying he is going to give the authority back to the state [legislatures] and local executives, but every week there is a new excuse.”

A similar legal challenge was raised against Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf, which initially was won before being overturned in federal appeals court.

This article originally appeared on the Syosset Patch

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Gov. Cuomo falsely claims New York nursing homes ‘never needed’ to take in Covid-positive patients

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that nursing homes “never needed” to accept Covid-positive patients from hospitals in the state due to a shortage of hospital beds.



Andrew Cuomo wearing a suit and tie: NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)


© Jeenah Moon/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY – JULY 23: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

During a press call Wednesday, Finger Lakes News Radio asked Cuomo about his administration’s advisory in late March requiring that nursing homes accept the readmission of patients from hospitals, even if they were positive for Covid-19.

The governor’s office has repeatedly said the advisory was based on federal guidance, which prohibited discrimination based on a coronavirus diagnosis. The state’s Department of Health told CNN, “Residents were admitted to nursing homes during that time not as an overflow facility, but because that’s where they live.”

Cuomo said that the advisory was a precaution if hospitals became overwhelmed — calling it an “anticipatory rule” — which he said didn’t happen.

“We never needed nursing home beds because we always had hospital beds,” Cuomo told Finger Lakes News. “So it just never happened in New York where we needed to say to a nursing home, ‘We need you to take this person even though they’re Covid-positive.’ It never happened.”

Facts First: Cuomo’s assertion that “it never happened” is false. According to a report from the New York State Department of Health, “6,326 COVID-positive residents were admitted to [nursing home] facilities” following Cuomo’s mandate that nursing homes accept the readmission of Covid-positive patients from hospitals. Whether or not this was “needed,” it did in fact happen.

Cuomo’s senior adviser Rich Azzarpodi replied Thursday after publication and took issue with this determination, saying that the governor was specifically referencing the hospital bed shortage. “The governor was crystal clear, he was saying that what did not materialize was the crunch for hospital beds, that every projection especially the federal governments projections predicted was going to happen. That’s what he said never happened. Separately the law has always been that nursing homes could only accept residents that they could adequately care for. None of that has changed.”

On March 25, the state’s Health Department issued an advisory requiring nursing homes to accept “the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals” if the patients were deemed medically stable.

“No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,” the advisory stated. “[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.”

This mandate received a great deal of criticism, and Cuomo issued an

Andrew Cuomo on coronavirus response: ‘I put my head on the pillow at night saying I saved lives’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday appeared to boast of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, declaring during a conference call: “I put my head on the pillow at night saying I saved lives, that’s how I sleep at night.”

The Democratic received some pushback online, with many pointing to his March 25th mandate to send coronavirus patients to nursing homes from hospitals – a decision some say factored in to nearly 6,000 deaths.

In this Sept. 29, 2020 photo provided by the Office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo delivers a COVID-19 update during a briefing in New York City. 

In this Sept. 29, 2020 photo provided by the Office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo delivers a COVID-19 update during a briefing in New York City. 
(Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)

The mandate required nursing homes to take in patients so long as they were medically stable. The nursing homes were further prohibited from testing incoming residents for the virus before they arrived.

More than 6,300 COVID-positive patients were admitted to nursing homes between March 25 and May, according to a report from the New York state health department. The high number of admitted patients has been widely blamed for the state’s official care home death toll of more than 6,600.

An analysis from the state health department determined that there was no causal link because “the timing of admissions versus fatalities shows that it could not be the driver of nursing home infections of fatalities.”

Still, Cuomo’s mandate stoked the ire of a lot of nursing homes. Rob Astorino, a Republican candidate in the 40th district State Senate race told 77WABC’s Lidia Curanaj that the nursing home owners he spoke to “were upset by Cuomo’s directive.”

TED CRUZ, CHRIS CUOMO GET INTO SLUGFEST AFTER SENATOR RIPS GOV. CUOMO’S COVID RESPONSE

“They were overwhelmed with sick patients, understaffed, and lacking in the proper PPE as well as equipment to treat and protect others from catching the virus.”

Pressed on the matter Wednesday during the conference call, Cuomo rejected the premise that the number of nursing home fatalities was linked to his March 25th mandate.

“The premise of your question is just factually wrong, the virus preys on senior citizens,” Cuomo said.

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As of Thursday, the virus has claimed some 33,159 deaths out of 76,754 cases recorded in New York since the pandemic began, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

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