New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is demanding a federal probe of Gov. Cuomo’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
Her call came after a new report showed the state quietly altered the way it publicly reports nursing home deaths from the virus.
In early May the state stopped counting nursing-home patients who died from COVID in hospitals in its official tallies of nursing-home fatalities, The Daily Caller reported. It now only includes those deaths that occur in the nursing home facility itself.
Cuomo is taking heat for vulnerable nursing home populations ravaged by coronavirus — with a state death toll of at least 5,300, and that’s with the state’s new counting method that ignores outside-facility deaths.
“Today I joined my @NewYorkGOP colleagues in the House to call for a federal investigation of Cuomo’s failed nursing home policies. NOW they admit they unethically changed the way they report nursing home deaths. An INEXCUSABLE tragedy for NY – NEED ANSWERS,” Stefanik, an upstate Republican, said in a tweet.
Cuomo’s March 25 executive order forced state nursing homes and assisted living facilities, many ill-equipped to stop the spread of the disease, to accept residents with COVID-19. The decision proved to have fatal consequences, with a third of all coronavirus deaths in the state occurring in nursing homes.
Florida — which issued an order around the same time keeping COVID-19 patients out of nursing homes — has seen 1/7th of the nursing-home deaths New York has suffered.
Stefanik joins a growing list of New York lawmakers demanding a probe of Cuomo’s pandemic policies. Former Gov. Pataki and Staten Island state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis have also called for an investigation.
“On March 24th, Gov. Cuomo said, ‘My mother is not expendable, your mother is not expendable,’ and yet the very next day he signed an executive order mandating nursing homes – where our most vulnerable mothers and our most vulnerable fathers reside – to accept COVID positive patients,” Malliotakis told Fox News earlier this week.
When asked about nursing home deaths, Cuomo said he did his best.
“As a society, you can’t save everyone, you’re gonna lose people, that’s life,” he told reporters at a Wednesday press briefing. “But we did everything we could.”
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