The paper reports that the governor’s office intentionally undercounted the number of deaths in the state in a span of five months.
The New York Times is reporting that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration undercounted the toll of nursing home patients by as much as 50 percent.
The Gray Lady reported that Cuomo, who was pitching a book on how he governed during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York, intentionally undercounted the number of deaths in the state in a span of five months.
Facing scrutiny from Republicans, including then-President Trump, who specifically requested to see nursing home death data in New York, Cuomo told his state’s health officials, including the New York State Department of Health commissioner, Howard Zucker, to not release the true death toll to the public or share it with state lawmakers, the Times reported.
A paper that incorporated coronavirus-related data was never published. Cuomo’s top aide did not start an audit until its absence became public. Two drafted letters by Zucker’s department never got sent to state legislators.
When it hit New York in March 2020, the administration put in place a policy to prevent nursing homes from refusing to take care of the elderly who were discharged from hospitals after treatment for COVID-19.
Although the policy seemed intentionally good, some critics say the measure might have contributed to the death toll in the spring, which the administration placed around 6,000.
The Attorney General’s office, led by Letitia James, found out in late January that the official tally might have undercounted by half, saying some of the deaths from patients who came from nursing homes but died in hospitals were not counted.
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