New York Democratic Attorney General Letitia James released a recent report showing that the Cuomo Administration and state Department of Health has underreported COVID-19 related nursing home deaths by as much as 50%. This is after Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed nursing homes to accept patients who had or were suspected of having COVID-19, infecting thousands of elderly patients and resulting in hundreds of deaths.
The 76-page report shows that much of the state’s misrepresentation was due to the state counting only deaths that occurred at the actual nursing home rather than including deaths that occurred at a hospital after a resident was transferred there. 70% of the nearly 35,000 COVID deaths were people aged 70 and older.
During the investigation, James surveyed 62 nursing homes across the state and found constant discrepancies between the deaths reported to the attorney general’s and those released by the Department of Health. In a specific instance, a New York facility had reported and confirmed 11 deaths to later find out that 40 deaths had taken place, including 27 at the home and 13 in the hospitals.
The report comes after months of investigation into Gov. Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic. He has repeatedly dodged responsibility for his deadly orders in accepting COVID-19 patients and attempted to hide that it never existed by rescinding it last May by blaming former President Trump and other Republicans. He defended his administration’s handling of the pandemic by saying that the state was poorly supported by a federal government “caught off guard” by the virus.
The report reflects that nursing homes have failed to follow COVID-19 safety protocols for months now and have not reflected those in the D.O.H’s published total nursing home death data to the public. The findings have jeopardized the health and safety of both patients and employees who have failed to comply with health protocols. There has also been a lack of personal protective equipment for staff members and patients.
“As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate. While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents,” James said.
Gov. Cuomo intentionally lied about government guidance and has blamed Trump and his administration for months just to cover his awful tracks. He was right when he made the confession that “incompetent government kills people.”