New York Attorney General Letitia James has exposed the lies carried out concerning COVID deaths in nursing homes.
The “criminal cover up” means that Cuomo has “blood on his hands.”
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.
Update: New York lawmakers like Rep. Elise Stefanik and Nicole Malliotakis are beginning to sound off on the devastating report.
“This is now more than a nursing home scandal, this is a massive corruption and coverup scandal at the highest level of New York State Government implicating the Governor, the Secretary to the Governor, the New York State Health Commissioner and the Governor’s staff,” Stefanik said in a statement. “Every New Yorker deserves transparency, accountability and answers regarding the orchestration of this illegal coverup. I am calling on the New York Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice to issue subpoenas immediately of Governor Cuomo and his entire staff on all documentation and internal and external communications, including with any and all associations and lobbyists who have direct ties to the Governor’s senior team related to this corrupt and illegal coverup. I am committed to doing everything I can in my power to protect the independence of the ongoing federal investigation into Governor Cuomo’s nursing home disaster. President Joe Biden should pledge to do the same. As a fellow New Yorker, I want to publicly thank the effective and tireless advocates who have humbly served as the voice of their lost loved ones and have faced inexcusably cruel treatment from the Governor and his entire team, who we know have orchestrated a criminal coverup and have blood on their hands.”
— Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (@RepMalliotakis) January 28, 2021
FLASHBACK: Last May a New York Nurse Whistleblower came forward on Cuomo https://t.co/PlZ9fp3WxS
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 29, 2021
The bombshell findings could push the current DOH tally of 8,711 deaths to more than 13,000, based on a survey of 62 nursing homes that found the state undercounted the fatalities there by an average of 56 percent.
The report further notes that at least 4,000 residents died after the state issued a controversial, March 25 Cuomo administration mandate for nursing homes to admit “medically stable” coronavirus patients — which James said “may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities.”
“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,” James said.
“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.”
FDNY emergency medical technicians transport a man from a nursing home into an ambulance in Brooklyn, New York.REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Vivian Zayas — who founded the Voices for Seniors advocacy group after her mom, who lived in a Long Island nursing home, died of COVID-19 last year — said that “our jaws dropped” upon reading James’ report.
“The attorney general’s report shows that Cuomo’s book on his great leadership during the pandemic is a fraud,” she said.
“It’s a fraud and insult to the families. He’s a fraud and his book is a fraud.”
Asked about the finding during a morning news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “We have to make sense of this. We have to get the full truth. … And we have to be honest about the numbers.”
“These are our loved ones that we lost,” de Blasio said.
“It’s someone’s grandma, it’s someone’s mother or father, aunt or uncle. This is families missing someone dear to them.”
He added: “Among all the other pain that we went through in 2020, this was arguably the worst part of it.”
Bill Hammond of the Empire Center, a government watchdog group that has sued the state DOH for access to its data on the deaths of all nursing home residents, called James’ report “independent confirmation of a lot of the concerns and criticisms that have been raised.”
“It highlights major discrepancies in the reporting on deaths and makes clear that state policy and oversight of nursing homes was at least one factor in the tragic loss of life,” he said.
Cuomo’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, with a spokesperson saying officials were still reviewing James’ report.
Cuomo, despite his administration’s order to keep the COVID afflicted among nursing home residents, has repeatedly acknowledged the danger that the coronavirus posed to such an elderly population.
“Coronavirus in a nursing home is like fire in dry grass … The only question is how many people will die?” he said on March 29 — without mentioning the controversial directive that his health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, had issued four days earlier.
Cuomo later used the same metaphor while suggesting in June that, “All you need is one person — an air-conditioning repairman, a delivery person — and once that virus gets in the nursing home, it’s fire through dry grass,”
Lawmakers and nursing home advocates alike have been critical of the Cuomo administration’s virus-related policies governing nursing home protocols.Pacific Press/LightRocket via Ge
The following month — amid sustained outrage over the March 25 directive, which was revoked on May 10 — the DOH issued a report blaming the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes on asymptomatic staffers.
Cuomo has also repeatedly attacked The Post for its hard-hitting reports on the nursing-home crisis, suggesting the coverage was politically motivated to “kill all Democrats.”
And during spectacularly ill-timed appearances Tuesday on MSNBC and CNN, Cuomo tried to blame for COVID deaths on former President Donald Trump, offering one quote that seems to now apply equally to his own administration in light of the James report.
“Incompetent government kills people. More people died than needed to die in COVID. That’s the truth,” he said.
James’ report does not increase the number of overall deaths in the Empire State from the coronavirus, which stands at an estimated 42,887 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University case tracker.
The state DOH puts the number at 34,579, but that tally only includes confirmed deaths.
And, many people point out that these are COVID “related” deaths… and as other investigations have shown, often this ‘definition’ has been used to inflate ‘pandemic’ numbers.’