An audit released by the New York State Comptroller confirmed that former Governor Andrew Cuomo published inaccurate numbers of deceased seniors in state nursing homes. It is at least 4,100 COVID-19 deaths that the Cuomo administration concealed.
The study released Tuesday, March 15 by the New York government concluded that Cuomo underestimated the number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50% from April 2020 to February 2021.
“The public was misled”: comptroller says of Andrew Cuomo administration
“Families have a right to know if their loved one’s COVID-19 death was counted, but many still don’t have answers from the state Department of Health,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement.
“Our audit findings are extremely troubling. The public was misled by those at the highest level of state government through distortion and suppression of the facts when New Yorkers deserved the truth,” he explained.
“The pandemic is not over, and I am hopeful the current administration will make changes to improve accountability and protect lives. An important step would be for DOH to provide the families who lost loved ones with answers as to the actual number of nursing homes residents who died. These families are still grieving, and they deserve no less,” DiNapoli stated.
The audit states that the health department fell “far short” of its “moral” and “ethical” obligation to accurately report the deaths.
Cuomo had ordered nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive or were suspected of having COVID-19 early in his response to the pandemic, a move that became controversial after thousands of elderly patients were infected with the virus.
A report last year by New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed that the state Department of Health underreported COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%, and reports claim that the decision to hide those numbers was premeditated so as not to affect sales of Andrew Cuomo’s book.
Also, a separate investigation by the New York Assembly concluded in November that the Cuomo administration materially misrepresented data on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, and one lawmaker said the revelations would have been grounds for impeachment if Cuomo were still in office.