“It’s finally happening,” Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “@NYGovCuomo is going to have to answer for his role in the nursing home tragedy and the cover up. The angels won.”
After months of investigative work, New York Attorney General Letitia James and her office released their report on the number of COVID-related fatalities in state nursing homes. Over the summer, the New York State Department of Health reported that just over 6,600 people had died from COVID. But as predicted, that number appears to have been severely undercounted, perhaps by as much as 50 percent, the attorney general regretted to announce. New York was the only state in the nation with a major outbreak to not include in their count those individuals who died from COVID after being transferred to the hospital.
Among those findings were that a larger number of nursing home residents died from COVID-19 than the New York State Department of Health’s (DOH) published nursing home data reflected and may have been undercounted by as much as 50 percent. The investigations also revealed that nursing homes’ lack of compliance with infection control protocols put residents at increased risk of harm, and facilities that had lower pre-pandemic staffing ratings had higher COVID-19 fatality rates. Based on these findings and subsequent investigation, Attorney General James is conducting ongoing investigations into more than 20 nursing homes whose reported conduct during the first wave of the pandemic presented particular concern.
NEW: @TishJames releases scathing report on New York State Nursing Homes. Among the findings is that @HealthNYGov UNDERREPORTED nursing home deaths due to Covid by 50%. 20 facilities remain under investigation.
Big development here is James taking aim squarely at @NYGovCuomo
— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) January 28, 2021
“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,” said Attorney General James. “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. Nursing homes residents and workers deserve to live and work in safe environments, and I will continue to work hard to safeguard this basic right during this precarious time.”
Janice Dean, who lost both of her in-laws to COVID in separate New York nursing homes, is among many New Yorkers who blame Gov. Cuomo’s nursing home mandate for the tragedies. The order essentially forced elder care facilities to accept recovering COVID patients.
Author: Cortney O’Brien