Michael Cardinal, FISM News
Governor Andrew Cuomo and NY Health Commisioner Dr. Howard Zucker have come under fire for under-reporting the amount of nursing home deaths during the pandemic.
New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report on Thursday which states that the state of New York has under-reported the amount of COVID-19 nursing home deaths by as much as 50%. The 76-page report prompted Zucker to release his own statement that reported the total nursing home deaths at 12,743 as of January 19th. This figure was a stark increase from the 8,914 deaths reported on the DOH website.
The increase in reported deaths appears to be a result of not including deaths of nursing home residents once they were transferred to a hospital and also the inaccurate reporting of deaths in nursing homes themselves. One of the nursing homes highlighted in the Attorney General’s report had disclosed only “five confirmed and six presumed COVID-19 deaths.” However, the true numbers were “27 COVID-19 deaths at the facility and 13 hospital deaths – a discrepancy of 29 deaths.”
Cuomo has been embroiled in controversy over his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the fact that he has profiteered from authoring a book about his leadership in the handling of the crisis. Cuomo had previously been criticized for his order that nursing homes were required to take in patients who had tested postive for COVID-19, which directly resulted in a large number of deaths in these facilities.
The New York Times reported that nine top ranking health officials have resigned over the past several months due to Cuomo’s dictatorial handling of the pandemic as well as his mishandling of vaccine distribution.
Cuomo came across as calloused when he answered to the uproar from James’ report, saying “Who cares [where people died]. They died”
.@NYGovCuomo on nursing home deaths scandal:
"Who cares [where people died]. They died!"
— Young Americans for Liberty (@YALiberty) January 29, 2021
Several New York officials are calling on Zucker to resign and for Cuomo to be held accountable for what appears to be a willful misrepresentation of data.
Senator George Borello (R) relayed this sentiment in a statement:
While I echo the call of Leader Ortt and my colleagues for the resignation of the Health Commissioner, this in no way absolves the Governor of any wrongdoing. Nothing in the Cuomo administration happens without his knowledge and consent. We, as a legislative body, need to hold him accountable for this horrific tragedy and the bad decisions that led up to it.”