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County Executive Press Releases

Posted on: March 25, 2022

Not Here, Not Now, Not Ever

Two Years Ago, Rensselaer County and Steve McLaughlin Opposed Cuomo’s Deadly Nursing Home Order

Two years ago, Rensselaer County stood against a deadly order by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo, where the state called for COVID-19 positive residents to be placed into nursing homes, County Executive Steve McLaughlin recalled.

McLaughlin thanked staff and administrators at the county’s Van Rensselaer Manor, county Health Department and others for joining in the fight against the Cuomo order. Rensselaer County was initially the only county to oppose the order.

The order from the state was issued on March 25, 2020 from the state Department of Health via a letter signed by then-Commissioner Howard Zucker. 

When presented with the letter, McLaughlin stated: “Not here, not now, not ever.”

“Two years ago, the Cuomo administration issued the worst public order I have ever seen in my time in public service. The order to force COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes placed every senior in nursing homes in danger,” said McLaughlin.

The county waged a lonely fight against the state order, and was the only county to oppose the order. The county was the target of attacks by Cuomo administration officials and subjected to increased inspections and other actions.

McLaughlin explained his decision to refuse the order in a series of live streams broadcast, and received strong support from residents.

The March 25, 2020 letter was later discredited and widely attacked by senior advocates, residents and elected officials. The order may have resulted in the death of as many as 15,000 seniors, with numbers still being finalized.

“Of all the decisions made during my time in office, the decision to oppose the Cuomo administration on their deadly March 25, 2020 order is the one I am proudest to have made. I am equally proud of how many county residents stood up and spoke out against the order,” added McLaughlin.

“We were right to oppose the Cuomo order then and we would do the same again today. We took an oath to protect our seniors and protect our most vulnerable and do that every day,” added McLaughlin.

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