A new report alleges that the true extent of the number of deaths that New York’s nursing homes suffered under the leadership of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo may be far higher than what has been reported due to the way that the statistics are gathered and counted.
“New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount,” The Associated Press reported. “Unlike every other state with major outbreaks, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.”
The AP gave one example as an illustration of the problem: the Riverdale Nursing Home in the Bronx.
According to the AP, on paper, the nursing home only reported a total of four deaths from the coronavirus out of its nearly 150-bed facility. However, the true number is 21 dead, most of whom were transported out of the facility and to hospitals before they died.
“That statistic that could add thousands to the state’s official care home death toll of just over 6,600,” the AP continued. “But so far the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to divulge the number, leading to speculation the state is manipulating the figures to make it appear it is doing a better than other states and to make a tragic situation less dire.”
Democrat State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a Demo told New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker during a recent hearing that it seemed that officials were “choosing to define it differently so that you can look better.”
“Another group of numbers also suggests an undercount,” the AP added. “State health department surveys show 21,000 nursing home beds are lying empty this year, 13,000 more than expected — an increase of almost double the official state nursing home death tally. While some of that increase can be attributed to fewer new admissions and people pulling their loved ones out, it suggests that many others who aren’t there anymore died.”
The New York Times reported earlier this year that the outbreak was so bad in New York City that “the city became the primary source of new infections in the United States, new research reveals, as thousands of infected people traveled from the city and seeded outbreaks around the country.”
The AP’s report comes after Cuomo was asked on Monday if he would support an independent investigation into what happened in the nursing homes, to which he said, “no.”
The reporter asked Cuomo, “Would you support an independent investigation in order to bridge some of this mutual suspicion about partisanship getting into a better public understanding of what exactly happened in group home facilities and nursing homes?”
“No, I wouldn’t do an investigation whether or not it’s political, everybody can make that decision for themselves,” Cuomo answered. “I think you’d have to be blind to realize it’s not political. Just look at where it comes from and look at the sources and look at their political affiliations and look at who wrote the letter in Congress and look at what publications raise it and what media outward networks raise it. It’s kind of incredible.”
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