The co-founder of advocacy group VoicesForSeniors, whose mother died in a New York nursing home, says revelations about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home coronavirus policy may help get justice for those affected by the order.
“We’re just happy that this is coming out. It helps us to be able to get justice for our seniors,” Vivian Zayas told “America’s Newsroom” on Friday.
After her mother, Ana Martinez, contracted COVID-19 and died in a New York nursing home, Zayas founded VoicesForSeniors with her sister, Alexa Rivera. Zayas said she and others who were critical of Cuomo early on were initially accused of spreading misinformation.
“We knew all along,” Zayas said. “We were being accused of being conspiracy theorists and misinformation spreaders.”
“And here we are realizing that he’s the one all along who is spreading misinformation,” she said of the governor.
Cuomo has faced criticism for his order requiring nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive patients released from hospitals. The directive was enacted on March 25 and rescinded in May.
“The justice comes first from the truth, which is slowly leaking out,” Zayas said. “And second, it comes with reform, so that us, families who’ve lost someone have been broken after this fire through dry grass would be able to get some closure.”
“Justice in our hearts, which are forever broken, will never be one hundred percent,” Zayas added.
VoicesForSeniors’ mission is to “significantly improve the quality of life for our most vulnerable, elderly communities through grassroots initiatives and advocacy for protective legislation and reform,” according to the group’s official website.
“Vivian and Alexa were told [Martinez] was healthy and safe, when all the while she was clinging to life, struggling to breathe,” the website says. “The nursing home’s omissions and blatant lies played a part in the sisters’ harrowing struggle to find answers. Their mother’s untimely death has fueled their tireless efforts to hold healthcare workers and government officials accountable, and pursue real change so that no senior citizen or family will have to endure the pain they did.”