Tedisco: Cuomo COVID Cover-Up on Nursing Home Deaths Continues

James Tedisco

January 14, 2021

Senator says Administration issues new delay on FOIL request lawsuit to obtain COVID-19 nursing home data; renews call for passage of legislation for bi-partisan, independent investigation with subpoena power to examine what led to the deaths

Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C-Glenville) today is continuing his advocacy on behalf of the thousands of families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 in state-regulated nursing homes, by announcing that the Cuomo Administration and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) have delayed a January 13th deadline by two months to March 22nd to publicly release the number of nursing home residents who were transferred to hospitals last year and died from the coronavirus.

In September, Senator Tedisco filed an amicus brief to the Empire Center for Public Policy’s lawsuit against the DOH for its refusal to release records showing the full count of coronavirus deaths among nursing home residents.  This is the third time the DOH has delayed the Empire Center and Tedisco’s request for the data.

The lawsuit seeks the release of Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS) data regularly submitted to DOH by facilities throughout the state. DOH through HERDS collects daily numbers of confirmed and presumed COVID deaths that take place inside and outside nursing homes and assisted care facilities.

Senator Tedisco also has authored and sponsors legislation with Majority Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim (S.8756/A.10857) for an independent, bi-partisan state commission with subpoena power to fully investigate these nursing home deaths. 

“The Governor has said that everything he knows, the public would know and that there’d be ‘total transparency’ on the coronavirus. His actions bely his words. It’s been over five months since our FOIL request of the DOH was made to learn what the true number of nursing home residents is who died in the first wave of the coronavirus but the Cuomo Administration continues its cover-up, stonewalling and obfuscation. History has shown that the cover-up is often worse than what’s being covered-up. Sadly, a lack of transparency has been a hallmark of this Administration. Enough stalling. We need to get the facts so we can provide a measure of closure for the families who lost their loved ones and help prevent this from happening again,” said Senator Tedisco.