NY DOH Tracked Senior Deaths In, Out of Facility, Still Withheld It New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
By Eric Mack | Wednesday, 07 April 2021 09:57 PM
The New York State Health Department ordered the tracking of nursing home-related COVID-19 deaths in or out of long-term care facilities months before the data was excluded by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
A state DOH memo dated April 18, 2020 was sent out of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, directing them to keep track of death counts for whether "the death occurred in" the facility or "the hospital setting," according to a document obtained by the New York Post.
Despite the memo ordering the data to be tracked, the Cuomo administration still did not share the data in the state DOH report released 11 weeks later, the Post reported.
The findings add to the trouble Cuomo faces amid allegations his administration is covering up the effect of his nursing home mandate early in the pandemic, ordering long-term care facilities to take in COVID-19 residents. That was despite widely known information the coronavirus was particularly deadly for older Americans and those with compromised immune systems.
Cuomo top aides pushed the DOH report to not count the out-of-facility deaths of nursing home residents, namely those who died at hospitals, The Wall Street Journal.
A top Cuomo aide admitted their lack of transparency and ignoring Freedom of Information Act requests by the media was a result of a fear the Trump administration Justice Department would seek an investigation, according to reports.
The DOH report counted only seniors who died in long-term care facilities, but at the end of January, after President Joe Biden took office, the state released a report counting the deaths of nursing home seniors both in facilities and in hospitals.
The Post sought comment from the Gov. Cuomo's office, but did not receive a response at the time the story was published.
Cuomo is also facing investigations into allegations he sexually harassed or behaved inappropriately toward a half-dozen women who have worked with him. The allegations include groping, planting unwanted kisses, and asking unwelcome personal questions about sex and dating.
The governor has said he "never touched anyone inappropriately" and "never made any inappropriate advances," and no one ever told him at the time that he was making them uncomfortable. He has called some allegations false.
Cuomo has also suggested that he was simply being an old-school politician in greeting people with hugs and kisses but "sensitivities" have changed.
Cuomo faces a potential battle for the governor's mansion in 2022, if he decides to run again. Newsmax contributor Andrew Giuliani said Wednesday he is "strongly considering" a gubernatorial campaign.
"I look at Andrew Cuomo and how there's been a combination of fraud in his administration to a truly outsized ego, now is the time," Andrew Giuliani told Newsmax, pointing to the "15,000 senior citizens' lives that were lost" due to Cuomo's nursing home mandate.
"It's just the time to save New York."
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.