New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a disaster, but his incompetence may stretch beyond the level he has already shown. According to a 76-page report cited in the New York Times on Thursday, New York State Attorney General and fellow Democrat Letitia James has accused Cuomo and his administration of undercounting coronavirus-related deaths at nursing homes by as much as 50%.
In simple terms, Cuomo’s administration is accused of hiding the correct estimate of coronavirus-related nursing home deaths by counting only the deaths that occurred in nursing homes and not the patients who died after being transferred from nursing homes to the hospital. If this allegation is correct, the current tally of 8,500 nursing home deaths is substantially undercounted.
“In one instance, an unnamed facility reported 11 confirmed and presumed deaths to the Health Department as happening on site through early August,” a summary of the report’s findings says. “The attorney general’s survey of that same facility, however, found 40 deaths, including 27 at the home and 13 in hospitals.”
Cuomo has bragged about his handling of the pandemic, when in reality, maybe only Gavin Newsom has handled it worse. In March 2020, the NY attorney general’s office set up a hotline to address a flow of incoming complaints regarding coronavirus-related neglect at nursing homes. James received more than 770 complaints through August 3, and another 179 complaints through November 16.
In addition, the investigation has found that some New York nursing homes failed to comply with infection control protocols, and therefore, per Axios, caused the following:
- Facilities with lower staffing ratings had higher COVID-19 fatality rates.
- Insufficient PPE and testing for nursing home staff put residents and staff at increased risk.
- Owners of for-profit nursing homes had a financial incentive to increase their own profits instead of investing in more staff, PPE and other safety measures.
“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 says.
“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.”
Cuomo’s office has not responded to requests for comment.
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, who called out Cuomo’s inept handling of the nursing homes before anyone else, tweeted that Cuomo must finally answer for his poor leadership:
It’s finally happening. @NYGovCuomo is going to have to answer for his role in the nursing home tragedy and the cover up. The angels won.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) January 28, 2021
Under Cuomo’s lead, New York is a disaster right now, one that appears worse than we originally thought.