Cuomo Administration ‘Froze’ Over Nursing Home Death Rate Data Requests
ALBANY, NY (AP) – Andrew Cuomo’s top aide to the New York government told Democratic lawmakers it took months for the administration to release coronovirus death data among nursing home residents as officials “misplaced” information The information was used. against us.”
Republican A “cover-up” comment to end the admission is now calling for an inquiry and the resignation of both Cuomo and the secretary of the aide, Governor Melissa DeRosa. And increasing number of Democrat Joining calls to save Cuomo’s emergency executive powers, destroying the administration to protect its privacy.
“How is it okay for NY Gov. Cuomo’s frequent defenders?” New York City public prosecutor Jumaine Williams, a Democrat, Tweeted. “How is it not like #Trump? And when you attended the entry, you most regret that we got caught … and not directly from him or even the families.”
Derasa’s comments on Wednesday’s call for a meeting with Democratic legislator leaders came as Democratic governors – a third-term Democrat who says he will run again in 2022 and have written a book to deal with the epidemic – And the administration was already facing backlash over the handling and reporting of outbreaks at her nursing home.
Cuomo’s office provided the Associated Press with a partial call recording, but declined to say where it was obtained or allowed its publication.
In recent weeks, a court order and the state attorney general’s report have forced the state Approximately 15,000, to accept the death of a nursing home resident When it first reported 8,500 – a number that excluded residents who died after being taken to hospitals. The new toll amount to about one-seventh of those living in nursing homes in New York by 2019.
Since last spring, news outlets, lawmakers and the public have asked the Cuomo administration for data about COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents. On August 3, lawmakers asked State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker what the number of nursing home residents who died in hospitals was.
By mid-August, then-President Donald Trump began retweeting comments criticizing Cuomo for his administration’s response to the deaths in nursing homes. On August 26, the Justice Department granted Cuomo’s administration 14 days to provide data on nursing home deaths.
“Basically, we make mistakes because then we were in a situation where we were not sure if we were going to give what the Department of Justice or what we give to you guys and what we start saying is our We were not sure if there was going to be an investigation when Derasa was first informed by The New York Post when Democratic leaders were informed by Derasa.
“It played a very big role in this,” he said, adding that the administration had asked legislative leaders whether it could “pause when everyone got back” by this period and we know what’s with the DOJ. “
DeRosa did not directly respond to an AP question about whether New York State lawmakers were withholding data so that it could not be used in any Justice Department investigation.
DeRosa issued a statement on Friday, saying the administration told legislative leaders in September that it would first have to set aside an August request from lawmakers to deal with a Justice Department request. Cuomo’s office did not immediately say on Friday when it completed the federal data request.
“We were broad and transparent in our responses to the DOJ, and then immediately had to focus our resources on the second wave and the vaccine rollout,” the news release said, adding that the administration was “committed to becoming a better partner.”
Officials of the Cuomo administration have also stated that they need months to verify deaths outside the nursing home.
Nevertheless, it is unclear why New York cannot provide data that publishes state lawmakers and the Department of Justice at the same time in almost every other state, and later corrects it if necessary.
The Department of Health initially released data regarding all deaths of nursing home residents regardless of location. The administration halted May 3, when New York became one of at least two states only to release the number of deaths in nursing homes.
In Wednesday’s conference call, lawmakers said they still do not buy the reasons for Kumo’s administration for the delay. According to Queens Democrat Assemblyman Ron Kim, he spent the first hour calling state health officials for the delay.
“We were all disappointed with the excuse; There were one after the other, “Kim said.
Assembly Health Chairman Richard Gottfried, representing Manhattan, who attended Wednesday’s meeting, called the entire meeting with Derasa “very disturbing”.
“They were not releasing data from the investigation,” he said. He said, “It’s not the kind of thing that they would make. I don’t think the state’s explanation is acceptable. The request for data from me and others was added weeks before the August hearing. And of course by the DOJ I have known for a long time before any expression. “
Asked if the legislators would remove the Cuomo administration, he said, “I don’t think the New York Legislature is well-organized to conduct the investigation.”
He said the team of state Attorney General Letitia James did a good job in the ongoing investigation that, among other things, correctly estimated that more nursing home residents died than COVID-19 Has gone.
James’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kim called for legislative action to protect vulnerable residents, including damaging immunity to nursing homes, starting victim compensation funds, and subpoenas to investigate outbreaks of COVID-19 in long-term care homes Power includes authorizing the bipartisan commission.
“If you make a mistake, issue a public apology for a change, it will make a lot of difference,” Kim said.
Following DeRosa’s comments, Kim said, the staff listening to the call and the lawmakers began to ask each other questions: “Hey shit, has he downsized himself?”
But Kim said that while he supports loosening Cuomo’s executive powers, he does not hold back from excluding Derasa because it “will not solve the institutional problems caused by the administration over the past 10 months.” “
“There was a lot of confidence that was lost,” Kim said.
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