DOJ investigates if New York massively undercounted nursing home COVID-19 deaths
NEW YORK, October 30, 2020, (LifeSiteNews) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating if New York nursing homes may have massively under-counted coronavirus deaths of elderly residents.
The discrepancy could be a result of questionable state policies that do not count deaths of residents who had COVID-19 and who were transported from long-term care facilities to hospitals where they eventually died.
This could potentially mean New York’s reported number of deaths at long-term care facilities (just over 6,700) might actually be under-counted by thousands. In fact, New York’s numbers did not match up to a federal count that included nursing home residents who had died in hospitals. The federal count was 65 percent higher than the state count.
The Justice Department has asked for data from nursing homes across the state. However, the request has been blocked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration.
Rich Azzopardi, spokesperson for Cuomo, called the Justice Department’s latest query a “sham” and a “scummy abuse of power,” the Associated Press reported. Cuomo believes it is a politically motivated maneuver by the Trump administration so close to the elections. In fact, Cuomo dismissed the scandal on The View Thursday morning as “conspiracy” that has no factual basis and deflected the scandal back to the current administration.
“What a shock that the department of injustice (sic) sends a letter a few days before an election … they have done a terrible job on (COVID) since day one,” he said.
But even fellow Democrats believe Cuomo might be diluting numbers to make New York look better.
According to the Associated Press, state Democrat Sen. Gustavo Rivera told New York Health Commissioner during a legislative hearing on nursing homes earlier this month, “That’s a problem, bro. It seems, sir, that in this case you are choosing to define it differently so that you can look better.”
This isn't the first time the DOJ has solicited information from New York. Two months ago, the DOJ requested information from the state governors of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Michigan – the states where reckless mandates may have been responsible for the disproportionate number of deaths among the elderly in nursing homes.
The DOJ statement referenced a March order by Cuomo that read in part, “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to (a nursing home) solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. (Nursing homes) are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”
The investigation comes on the heels of Cuomo’s newly released book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. The book, according to the far-left Washington Post, was an “impressive road map to dealing with a crisis as serious as any we have faced.”
But family members of lost loved ones at nursing homes are not buying the book’s message. They held a symbolic funeral in mid-October outside of the hardest hit nursing home in New York, Cobble Hill Health Center in northwestern Brooklyn. The event highlighted Cuomo’s failed leadership and lack of integrity on the matter.
“Ultimately, we want an apology and we don’t want it to be buried and hidden and forgotten. Thousands upon thousands of people died — couldn’t have burials,” Daniel Arbeeny, 57, whose father died in the nursing home, told the New York Post.