In New York, legislators have started to move against the Cuomo administration after the release of New York Attorney General Letitia James’s report. This report reveals that New York’s Department of Health dramatically underreported the truth number of fatalities related to COVID in nursing homes. Furthermore, the stunning investigation revealed that the underreporting may have been as high as 50 percent.
This past Tuesday, New York legislators moved forward a motion to subpoena Howard Zucker, the New York Health Commissioner, for the misleading data. In addition, House Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) also requested for the Department of Justice to issue subpoenas “immediately” for Governor Cuomo, Zucker, and all their staff members with regard to all communications and documentations pertaining to nursing home policies. These policies include Cuomo’s mandate on March 25, which commanded nursing homes to accept patients still recovering from COVID.
Both concerned citizens and legislators received a major victory on Wednesday after the Supreme Court ruled against Cuomo and in favor of the lawsuit filed by the Empire Center for Public Policy against the governor’s administration. Furthermore, the New York Supreme Court Justice, Kimberly A. O’Connor, also awarded the court costs and attorney’s fees to the Empire Center.
O’Connor’s ruling vindicated thousands of families who tragically lost loved ones who succumbed to the virus in state-regulated nursing home facilities. In addition, the ruling also called for the New York State Department of Health “to publicly release data related to the deaths of nursing home residents who were transferred to hospitals last year” and subsequently passed away from COVID.
The DOH has up to five business days to address the court’s request.
According to Senator Jim Tedisco, “the best disinfectant” for the virus is “clearly” sunshine, which is why Cuomo’s “coronavirus coverup is crumbling down.”
Senator Tedisco also referenced last week’s release of James’s harsh report, which began to cut through the layers of secrecy embodied within the Cuomo administrator’s coverup of the true number of nursing home fatalities.
“[It is] obvious that the Governor’s six-month cover-up and refusal to give us these numbers shows he felt they mattered so he could hide any blame,” Tedisco continued. “History has shown that the cover-up is often worse than what’s being covered-up. Sadly, a lack of transparency has been a hallmark of this Administration.”
Senator Tedisco also expressed gratitude towards New York Supreme Court Justice O’Connor for her ruling in favor of the Empire Center for Public Policy, affirming that the public has a right to know what their government is doing.