Republicans continue to press for nursing home COVID death numbers


ALBANY, NY – It’s been more than one month since the New York State legislature held hearings on the COVID-19 impact on nursing homes.

But, some lawmakers say they’re still waiting to hear from the state department of health about key data when it comes to COVID related deaths of nursing home residents.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has the latest on where things stand.

((Rob Ortt, NYS Senate Minority Leader)) There are millions of New Yorkers who want answers so we know what to do going forward. That hasn’t happened.

Republican lawmakers say they’re still looking for the number of nursing home residents who contracted the coronavirus and then later died in hospitals.

Those individuals were counted as hospital deaths rather than nursing home deaths.

The Department of Health was pressed on the subject by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle during a hearing in August.

((James Skoufis, NYS Senator)) How many nursing home residents died in hospitals?

((Howard Zucker, NYS Department of Health Commissioner)) So I know you want that number and I wish I could give you the number today, but I need to be sure it’s accurate.

More than a month later, there’s been no release.

((Jim Tedisco, NYS Senator)) Everybody I know, every legislator I’ve talked to would like to know the real number of those in New York State who died from COVID in a nursing home or got sick and lost their lives in in a hospital and a large majority of them would actually like to see an independent investigation to find out why.

Senator Tedisco has now launched an online petition to support his bill that would allow for a bipartisan independent investigation with subpoena power to look into the deaths.

((Mary Beth Walsh, NYS Assemblymember)) I think our people in our state deserve to have these answers and I’m hoping that with this online petition we can, we can finally, finally get to the bottom of this.

The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Democrat Ron Kim.

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