New York’s nursing home scandal, explained
|New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is under fire for withholding nursing home death figures; Britain has instituted Europe’s first hotel quarantines. Tonight’s Sentences was written by Gabby Birenbaum.|
TOP NEWS Cuomo apologizes for nursing home data controversyDNCC via Getty ImagesTwo weeks ago, New York’s attorney general accused the Cuomo administration of “severely” undercounting coronavirus deaths related to nursing homes in order to avoid pushback on his policy last spring of sending hospitalized coronavirus patients back into nursing homes. [The New York Times / Jesse McKinley]A Cuomo aide acknowledged the death toll in nursing homes is about 15,000, rather than the 8,500 previously reported, by leaving out those who had gone to hospitals. The discrepancy, his aide said, was due to a suspicion that the actual count would be used against them by the Trump administration. [CBS News / Caroline Linton]In a press conference Monday, Cuomo apologized for the lapse in data, which created inaccuracies for state and federal officials. [NPR / Matthew S. Schwartz]But, Cuomo defended the decision to return Covid-19 patients to nursing homes, saying it was made based on medical advice and hospital capacity at the time. [Politico / Bill Mahoney]New York Republicans and Democrats alike are criticizing Cuomo’s monthslong refusal to turn over data and are disheartened by the excuses he made in his explanation. Cuomo and administration figures could be susceptible to investigation. [The Associated Press / Marina Villeneuve]The controversy has also raised questions about the expansiveness of Cuomo’s emergency authority, with state Democrats working on legislation to restrict and even remove some of his powers. [CNN / Paul LeBlanc]Meanwhile, his approval rating has dropped 10 points since January — a far cry from the wide popularity he enjoyed in the early days of the pandemic and a potential hit to his 2022 fourth-term reelection plans. [The Wall Street Journal / Jimmy Vielkind] Britain begins hotel quarantinesBrits traveling from 31 countries that Britain has deemed coronavirus variant hot spots, including South Africa and Brazil, will spend 10 days in a government-allocated hotel, incurring a cost of about $2,400 per person. [The New York Times / Anna Schaverien]The first guests began their quarantines on Monday. The policy — which is standard in Australia and New Zealand but Europe’s first — is an attempt to maintain lowered infection rates in what has been Europe’s worst-hit country. [The Associated Press / Jill Lawless]Scotland has instituted the same policy, but for travelers from any country. The British government has reserved 5,000 rooms, with another 58,000 booked on standby. [Deutsche Welle]Travelers have to pre-book their hotel arrangements through a government portal, which covers food, two mandated tests and transportation as well as the room. They can enter the country at one of five airports, including London Heathrow. [BBC News]In order to leave the United Kingdom, citizens will have to get their travel plans approved for being essential. [CNN / Maureen O’Hare and Lauren Kent]MISCELLANEOUSNigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been named the director-general of the World Trade Organization, becoming both the first woman and the first African to serve as leader.[Reuters / Emma Farge and Andrea Shalal]Over 4 million Texans have lost power as the state experiences its coldest temperatures in 30 years. [Vox / Umair Irfan]The US seven-day coronavirus case average is lower than 90,000 daily cases for the first time since early November. [The Washington Post / Paul Schemm, Erin Cunningham, Jacqueline Dupree, and Kim Bellware]Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their second child. [Buzzfeed News / Ellie Hall] VERBATIM“Economists, left, right and center, have all embraced a similar position, and that is we have to go big. Trying to spend money on a problem that’s international in scope and not caused by malfeasance or corruption requires a national response.”[House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA), on Democratic unity in pushing a large stimulus bill]LISTEN TO THIS
Some of the core values that built Google’s runaway success — innovative technology to the max, an intellectually playful and open culture, and a corporate aspiration to do good (“Don’t be evil”) — set it up for the existential questions it faces today. We examine how two grad students with a plan to search the Internet launched a company that would eventually become the gateway for the Internet for the entire world. [Spotify / Shirin Ghaffary and Alex Kantrowitz] This season of Land of the Giants tells the inside story of Google’s journey to become one of the most powerful companies in the world. Listen and subscribe wherever you find podcasts.Read more from Vox Demystifying America’s 486,000 Covid-19 deaths How Biden learned to go big Childcare workers are getting left behind in the vaccine rolllout How a Black bioethicist makes the case for vaccination to people of color One Good Thing: How indie rock band Fever Dolls won my heart in just 9 songs FacebookTwitterYouTube
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