Cuomo insists the nursing homes “could have resisted” taking COVID-positive patients if they had no ability to care for them. The order, he seemed to be saying, was only meant to ensure that such patients were not discriminated against.

That point, he conceded, “was never really communicated,” as if the March 25 order was not meant to be taken verbatim.

So the only failure is a failure to communicate, though he didn’t specify whose failure that was. Certainly not his.

There are two gaping holes in that argument. First, nursing homes never believed they had any right to deny infected patients, saying the order from the state Department of Health would have included that option if that were the intent. The order’s language did not offer any hint of flexibility.