Aida Pabey and her siblings are grieving the loss of their mother Elba Pabey.
They say she died of COVID-19 on April 6 at the Isabella Geriatric Center in Washington Heights, not long after Governor Andrew Cuomo made the controversial order to allow COVID-19 patients back into nursing homes.
“That doesn’t make any sense. There are vulnerable population and you’re gonna bring people that are COVID positive? And I feel like it’s more fault, like, I could’ve at least kept her to stay in my home, but I couldn’t anymore,” said Pabey.
The Pabeys were among the many families and elected officials who attended a vigil at Foley Square Thursday to mark one year since that March 25 directive from the governor.
It was organized by the grassroots group Voices for Seniors, which started due to the nursing home deaths.
Elba Pabey loved singing, dancing, and spending time with her kids. Aida and her sister Haydee Pabey, who are both NYPD detectives, say the loss of their mom is unfair and devastating.
“Miss her so much. I used to go see her during my lunch break. I work nearby and I would bring her favorite foods. She loves bananas, and I just miss her hugs and her smile,” Haydee Pabey said.
While they know nothing will bring her back, they say speaking out is important. Many people at the vigil called for Cuomo’s removal from office.
Cuomo has repeatedly defended his nursing homes policies.
NY1 reached out to the Governor's Office for comment on this event and we have yet to hear back.