The New York Post reports,
A government watchdog group is accusing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration of sitting on data that would provide the full death tally of nursing home residents from the coronavirus.
The Empire Center for Public Policy accuses the state Health Department of stalling on compliance with a Freedom of Information Law request seeking the information.
Currently, New York’s tally of nursing home fatalities only counts those residents who died or are presumed to have died from COVID-19 inside those facilities.
The figure excludes potentially thousands of nursing home residents who were transported to hospitals for treatment and died a few days later.
“The state Health Department is offering a new explanation for why it won’t provide the full death toll of coronavirus in nursing homes: it can’t find the records,” said Bill Hammond, a health analyst for the Empire Center who submitted the legal request for the data in early August. The Justice Department is looking at whether the policies of New York and three other states contributed to COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
Pressed by lawmakers during a legislative hearing last month, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker admitted the information on the total death toll of nursing home residents was accessible, but he was not ready to make it public.
Read more here.
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