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State Health Dept Underreporting NY COVID-19 Deaths

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The official count of NY COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes isn’t telling the whole story. State Attorney General Letitia James said the recorded deaths are less than the actual number. This discrepancy holds the State Health Department and Governor Andrew Cuomo on the hook.

RELATED: Study Suggests Millions of New Yorkers Infected

James’s office estimated the undercount on the death toll to around 55%. Based on the survey of 62 facilities, which comprises 10% of total state institutions. However, nearly 4,000 nursing home residents died from Covid-19 after being transferred to hospitals. When counted against the number of deaths in nursing homes, this increases the death toll by more than 40%.

Cuomo’s Directive

Last year, Cuomo directed nursing homes in the state to accept COVID-19 patients. This led to a massive increase of infections among elderly patients. It also helped increase total NY COVID-19 deaths. In addition, it caused hundreds of deaths among the senior population.  Cuomo said the policy is in line with Trump administration guidelines at the time.

The state Department of Health reported 5,957 COVID-19 deaths from nursing homes. They also reported 2,783 presumed deaths. In addition, assisted care facilities recorded 160 deaths and 52 presumed ones. Then, adding the number of nursing-home residents who died in the hospital (3,829) brings the total NY COVID-19 deaths to 12,743.

NY COVID-19 Deaths in Nursing Homes

The AG report said that Cuomo’s decision placed residents at increased risk. Also, it muddied the data available that assessed the risk. James’ office requested 62 nursing homes to submit data about COVID-19 deaths. One nursing home reported 27 COVID-19 deaths at the facility and 13 hospital deaths. However, an earlier report listed five confirmed and six presumed deaths.

The report submitted its findings from its investigation of allegations of patient neglect. It said that some facilities did not follow health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus. Ultimately, these inactions jeopardized the health and safety of both patients and employees. Nursing homes with low Medicaid and Medicare ratings recorded higher COVID-19 death rates. Also, homes usually lack enough personal protective equipment for staff. Add to that the low availability of testing facilities.

Senior New Yorkers

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said knowing how many nursing home residents died in a hospital is important. The state is currently auditing this information provided by nursing homes, he said. “The attorney general’s initial findings of wrongdoing by certain nursing home operators are reprehensible,” he said. Zucker said that they will follow up on all cases of misconduct, and will continue to work with the OAG.

As of January 28, 70% of New York’s nearly 35,000 COVID deaths consisted of those aged 70 and older. James also said that investigations will continue into more than 20 suspect nursing homes. “As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate. While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents,” James said in a statement.

New York’s Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act

Nursing homes are COVID-19 hotspots across the United States and other countries. Housing senior citizens close to each other in homes poses a bigger infection risk. The elderly, often with serious health issues, are very susceptible. This is why these facilities account for at least 30% of COVID-19 deaths nationwide.

Making matters worse, Cuomo signed into law the Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act. This act provides civil and criminal immunity to health-care operators related to Covid-19. However, the protection does not apply to criminal or reckless acts or negligence. However, it may shield operators that do not strictly enforce health protocols.

Watch the CBS News video reporting that New York may have undercounted nursing home COVID deaths:

How can New York and other states help prevent more COVID-19 deaths among the elderly?

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Should New York repeal the Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act? Also, how can New York, and other states prevent more deaths? Let us know what you think by leaving your comments below.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  • Avatar Honest says:

    Get Rid of the Cu0mo Crime Family

  • Avatar Jose jiminez says:

    Take Pelosi Cortez, Schummer, Fienstein, Biden, and Harris families with them!

  • Avatar Melissa Hartzell says:

    youns need realize handy capted people cant get too acompter have no compter to register for the covid2 vaccinate shot we need them but cant get covid shots case of this not right to do this to us!?m.h.

  • Avatar Just Sayin says:

    Its funny how everyone wants Biden to solve all the health issues within 9 days when Trump had almost a year…

  • Avatar Don says:

    Good point made “Just Sayin”. Trump is a false god, I can’t believe the number of people who worship him.

  • Avatar David says:

    No one worships President Trump, they just rwalize he was and is a far betrer President than Biden, or Obama for that matter. Beaides, jo one gave Trump 1 day to do ANYTHING, covid related or not. Remember, they started working on an impeachment before the inauguration finished. Joe said he had a plan, he was going to wipe covid out, besides, he had the advantage of playing armchair quarterback for a year! A YEAR and they still have NO CLUE! Hiden & Heels up Harris are an utter and complete embarrassment! Good grief, get a clue! Fire the fraud Fauci and impeach biden, harris, pelosi, schumer and all of thr other traitors to America before ALl of Americas money gets sent to Pakistan so they can have transgenders. Oh, that’s right, it already is! That’s a real priority! What a disgrace!

  • Avatar Chas says:

    The governor of new york and Biden are a 🐴 ASS! Plane and simple!!!!

  • Avatar David says:

    As if ANY DEMOCRAT GOVERNOR listened to anything President Trump advised. Cuomo was unprepared, no ventilators for NY, and he intentionally murdered A LOT of people. Got it! Right feom the beginning they said the elderly and immune comprimised are at risk, and he and other murdering democrat governors sent covid patients to the very facilities that house people with those vulnerabilities. At least levine moved her mother. Proof she knew it was a death sentence. Cuomo. Murphy, whitmwr, levine, newsom, etc. Bring them ALL up on charges!
    Intentional murder!
    If Trump ordered that, people would have been screaming for him to be hung at the White House. Proof it wasn’t. Even my 5 year old nephew asked why such sick people were sent to live with all of the old people. It doesn’t require much common sense! Apparently more than what they have though.

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