A New York assemblyman has said that the legislative body’s investigation of former governor Andrew Cuomo found that his administration provided misleading information about Covid-19 deaths in New York nursing homes, according to a recent AP News report. The assembly’s inquiry reportedly confirmed earlier investigations by news organizations that found “gaps in the state’s statistical accounting of fatalities,” like its omission of “thousands” of Covid-19 deaths after residents were transferred from their nursing home facilities to local hospitals.
Davis Polk, the law firm retained by the Assembly to conduct the investigation, “confirmed” that even though health officials “wanted to include those hospital deaths in the state’s nurisng home fatality account,” the statistics were nonetheless left out. As Assemblyman Phil Steck, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement to the Associated Press: ““The investigation showed that as they were considering these matters, the book deal was going on, there’s a chapter in the book about nursing homes… They were trying to make it as what they thought was least damaging to the governor instead of just telling the truth.”
Steck also told the New York Times that the Cuomo administration’s misrepresentations of nursing home fatality statistics “would have been sufficient grounds to impeach Mr. Cuomo” had the governor not resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct. As the Times notes, a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James also found that the administration’s public reporting of nursing home deaths was inaccurate, “and eventually the officials increased the tally by more than 40 percent.” Cuomo’s aides reportedly pressured the Health Department not to publish accurate figures, with the administration’s report on nursing home deaths allegedly undercounting the total (at the time) by 3,800.
The report itself was released Monday morning, with its findings stating in part that Cuomo “was not fully transparent regarding the number of nursing home residents who died as a result of Covid.”
Cuomo’s aides pushed back on the Assembly’s inquiry. A spokesperson for the former governor told the Associated press: “The Assembly Judiciary Committee has chosen not to review their findings with us which is their prerogative, but it may once again result in a one-sided report.”
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents. Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.