NY Attorney Gen: Gov. Cuomo's Administration underreported COVID nursing home deaths

New York Attorney General Letitia James releases report showing state may be underreporting COVID deaths in nursing homes by 50%.

Gary Willig ,

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo
Reuters

New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report Thursday showing that the state health department may have undercounted the number of deaths from the coronavirus at nursing homes by as much as 50%.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been under fire for a March order requiring nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients from hospitals, a policy which critics say exposed vulnerable elderly people to the disease. The order was rescinded in May.

According to official numbers, over 8,500 residents of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities died from the coronavirus, about one quarter of the 42,000 deaths the disease has caused in New York State. However, critics have contended that the true number may be much higher, as the state has consistently refused to provide numbers on nursing home residents who died after being transferred to hospitals.

“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,” Attorney General James said in a statement. “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.”

James also stated that her office is investigating 20 nursing homes for failing to comply with infection control protocols and thereby putting residents at greater risk.



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