Statement from NYS Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

A statement from Senator Rob Ortt (R,C,I-North Tonawanda)

Grieving families who lost loved ones in nursing homes deserve to know why the Department of Health failed New York’s most vulnerable. For months, New York State Senate Republicans have demanded an independent investigation into the tragedy in our nursing homes while Senate Democrats refused to utilize their subpoena authority. Today, the Department of Justice answered our call. 

The Cuomo administration, unlike any other state in the nation, refused to provide an accurate number of nursing home residents who passed away during the pandemic and continually stonewalls lawmakers and families who seek answers. When his Health Commissioner Howard Zucker appeared before the legislature at hearings, he refused to provide transparency - leaving families, workers, and lawmakers searching for answers on the March 25 directive and the state's support for nursing homes, assisted living, and long-term care facilities. 

Senate Republicans have heard the pain of families, and we share in their mourning. The lives lost cannot be replaced, but we still believe this investigation of public nursing homes is a good first step in providing truth on a very dark chapter of this terrible time in New York.

We will continue to fight for a more expansive independent investigation to get answers for every family in New York.