New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing sharp criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for the under-reporting of the deaths of nursing home residents due to COVID-19.
According to the New York Post, “Cuomo hid nearly 1,900 fatalities in New York City alone — with new figures sending the tally at one Queens facility skyrocketing more than 1,000 percent.
Data from the New York Health Department shows that at least 5,400 nursing home residents have been killed by the Coronavirus in New York City as of Saturday (2/13).
Cuomo addressed the situation on Monday saying his administration could’ve done more in their reporting steps. A clear retraction from a statement he made last month by saying, “Who cares [if they] died in the hospital, died in a nursing home? They died. ”The Governor who wrote a book about his leadership during the COVID-19 crisis last October contests that deaths, whether in a nursing home or in a hospital, were still included in the state’s official death toll.
The Post was the first to break the story that Cuomo’s top aide, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, privately told Democratic lawmakers that his administration withheld data on the hospital deaths from them in August due to a pending probe by federal prosecutors from the Trump administration.
Now, there’s calls for a formal investigation into Cuomo’s actions and limitations on his executive powers. One of those N.Y. lawmakers placing blame on Cuomo is top Democrat Ron Kim, who lost his father due to COVID-19 in a nursing home. He said Cuomo should be up for “gaslighting award of the year” in a series of tweets Monday.
Blaming families & workers for spreading COVID in nursing homes after cutting Medicaid/Homecare, handing out legal immunity to nursing home executives, & sending 9,000 COVID patients to understaffed NHs wins the gaslighting award of the year @TheEmmys
— Ron T. Kim (@rontkim) February 16, 2021
The question remains whether New York could’ve prevented any of the state’s nearly 46,000 deaths, which was the most in the country during the first nine months of the pandemic.