Covid death toll at N.Y. state nursing homes 50 percent higher than reported, AG says
The New York state Health Department underreported the Covid-19 death toll in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent, the state’s attorney general charged Thursday.
More nursing home residents died from the coronavirus than the Health Department’s "published nursing home data reflected and may have been undercounted by as much as 50 percent,” Attorney General Letitia James' investigators concluded in 76-page report.
homes 50 percent higher than reported, AG says
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 in a statement.
New York leads the country in the number of Covid-19 deaths with 43,734, according to the latest NBC News tally, most of which occurred in the early days of the pandemic, when public health officials were trying figure out how the disease was spreading.
There was no immediate response from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat whose pandemic response has been widely praised but who has also been criticized for waiting until May to reverse a state policy that required long-term care facilities to accept recovering patients who may still test positive for Covid-19.
Cuomo has insisted that it was up to the nursing homes to alert state health officials if they were not equipped to take care of infected residents. And a report issued by the state in July laid the blame for the more than 8,500 deaths of seniors on staffers who unwittingly infected residents.
Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner, insisted in a statement that there was no "undercount."
"The word 'undercount' implies there are more total fatalities than have been reported; this is factually wrong," Zucker said. "The OAG's report is only referring to the count of people who were in nursing homes but transferred to hospitals and later died. The OAG suggests that all should be counted as nursing home deaths and not hospital deaths even though they died in hospitals."
Cuomo's office said Thursday the state followed federal guidance when issuing
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.https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnew ... cna1255997