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New York Senators May Subpoena the State Health Department for Key Nursing Home Death Numbers

Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration issued a report absolving themselves of the blame for thousands of COVID-19 nursing home deaths in July of 2020. After an outcry from mourning families, Cuomo’s administration refused to back up the findings when they failed to provide copies of the records that were the basis of the report’s conclusions. Now, WXXI News reports that several state senators are threatening to subpoena Cuomo’s health commissioner if he doesn’t provide this data to the public. 

The WXXI News report indicates that Senator James Skoufis and other lawmakers have been seeing these numbers for months and have continuously denied the information from Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, who insists that the organization is still compiling the information.

Did New York’s Early Pandemic Policy Lead to a Higher COVID Death Rate?

In March 2020, the Cuomo Administration issued a divisive order that required hospitalized nursing home residents who were COVID-positive to return to their respective nursing homes. A number of opposed parties argued that this move led to the subsequent rising death toll.

However, the Cuomo administration defended themselves by alleging that the deaths occurred because staff working at the homes had brought the infectious diseases into the facilities months earlier before the spread of coronavirus in the state was known. Likewise, the health department issued a scathing report that blamed nursing home workers for admitting COVID-19 patients to their vulnerable populations without adequate testing.

However, critics argue that Cuomo’s policy—which he contends was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—is what led to an initial uptick in New York nursing home cases. Despite the health department publicly condemning nursing home workers for the spread of COVID in New York nursing homes, the state has yet to release key numbers, including specific dates when the nursing home residents were first diagnosed with the virus and how many residents died in hospitals.

Time will tell if the Cuomo administration will provide this information following a potential subpoena.

Call an Expert Nursing Home Coronavirus Exposure Lawyer in New York City

During this critical time, nursing homes must take every precaution to protect their residents and front-line employees from being exposed to COVID-19. Many nursing homes have protected their residents by following guidelines and adhering to strict protocols, but other facilities have neglected the well-being of the most vulnerable among us. If you suspect a loved one has suffered neglect during the coronavirus pandemic, the attorneys at Dalli & Marino are here to help.

Our seasoned New York trial attorneys have been passionately advocating for victims of nursing abuse since 1996. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients through trust and communication to ensure that we fully understand your needs. Our highly skilled team approaches each case on an individual basis and is dedicated to helping you recover the money you deserve to compensate you for your loss. Call (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form today.

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