New York State Senators Phil Boyle, Alexis Weik, Mario Mattera and Anthony Palumbo released the following joint statement in response to New York State Attorney General Tish James' scathing report that the New York State Department of Health underreported nursing home deaths:
Throughout the past year, we have joined with advocates, some of whom lost loved ones in these facilities, to demand that Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker immediately release the full number of nursing home deaths in our state related to COVID-19.
Now, Commissioner Zucker miraculously released these figures just a few hours after the New York State Attorney General Tish James revealed that they were intentionally concealing them from us all along. Yesterday’s scathing report released by the Attorney General confirmed our suspicions that the Cuomo Administration and New York State Department of Health intentionally underreported COVID-19 nursing home deaths by up to 50% to mislead the public. We believe the final number could be even higher.
Today, we again stand together to call for a non-partisan, Federal investigation into the deaths of thousands of New York State’s most vulnerable citizens, our nursing home residents. We are demanding full transparency and the disclosure of the true number of those who died after contracting COVID-19 in our nursing homes and adult facilities. We also demand the release of all communications - both written and verbal - between Governor Cuomo’s office and the Department of Health, regarding keeping these figures secret.