Republicans Want Federal Probe of Covid-19 Nursing Home Deaths

Four Republican state senators from Suffolk County Friday that they want a federal investigation after a report that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo underreported nursing home deaths in the Covid-19 epidemic.

On Thursday, New York State Attorney General Tish James’ issued a report that said that the New York State Department of Health had underreported nursing home deaths. Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, however, that the total number of deaths wasn’t in dispute; the question is how to allocate the data on nursing home patients  who died in hospitals.

State Sens.Phil Boyle, Alexis Weik, Mario Mattera and Anthony Palumbo said, “Throughout the past year, we have joined with advocates, some of whom lost loved ones in these facilities, to demand that Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker immediately release the full number of nursing home deaths in our state related to Covid-19.

“Now, Commissioner Zucker miraculously released these figures just a few hours after the New York State Attorney General Tish James revealed that they were intentionally concealing them from us all along. Yesterday’s scathing report released by the Attorney General confirmed our suspicions that the Cuomo Administration and New York State Department of Health intentionally underreported Covid-19 nursing home deaths by up to 50% to mislead the public. We believe the final number could be even higher.”

State Assemblyman Keith Brown, R-Northport, said Thursday, “We have known for months that the numbers coming out of the Governor’s office regarding COVID-19 deaths in our state’s nursing homes did not match reality. It is clear  that the Governor misled all of us and should be stripped of his emergency powers immediately. My heart goes out to the families of those who lost loved ones, and I am committed to getting the facts and bringing justice to those responsible.”

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