New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters on Jan. 23 during a press conference at a COVID-19 pop-up vaccination center in Brooklyn. Cuomo has defended government reporting of deaths in nursing homes. Mary Altaffer / AP Hide caption
Mary Altaffer / AP
Mary Altaffer / AP
Amid allegations that the state underestimated the number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that everything that was reported was correct – albeit delayed.
“All deaths in nursing homes and hospitals have always been fully, publicly, and accurately reported,” said Cuomo said. “The numbers were the numbers. Always.”
ON report The attorney general found last month that the death toll was much higher than officials reported – perhaps as much as 50%. This is partly because the New York Department of Health figures didn’t include many people who died of COVID-19 in hospitals after being moved from their nursing homes.
Within hours of the report being published, the state will came out with New data showing another 3,800 deaths – nursing home residents who died in hospitals. More than 15,000 people have died of coronavirus in state nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Cuomo said Monday that the state had released the numbers to which he had immediate access at the time; Requests It took longer for information beyond the place of death to be answered.
“We put the state parliament’s request on hold while we were finalizing the DOJ’s request,” said Cuomo.
This delay was partly due to the state’s dealings with a federal government inquiry from the Justice Department, said Cuomo. Health officials decided to focus on this data request before responding to the legislature’s request for more information.
“Everyone was busy,” said Cuomo. “We’re in the process of dealing with a pandemic. There has been a delay in making all of this additional information available to the press and the public.”
Cuomo said the fact that the state was not immediately provided with the requested data created a “void” of facts that allowed misinformation to flourish.
“Should we have given more priority to fulfilling information requests in hindsight? In my opinion, yes, and I think that created the void,” he said. “But do I understand the pressure everyone was under? Yes.”
A top Cuomo adviser, Melissa DeRosa, had told state lawmakers that “we were frozen” when asked about the actual number of deaths in nursing homes, fearing that an enemy White House government, the New York Post, “used against us” reported. The governor’s office later confirmed the report.
Cuomo has also been criticized in the past few days, according to an Associated Press report found that New York was sending more than 9,000 coronavirus patients back to nursing homes from hospitals in the early days of the pandemic.
ON report The New York DOH argued the readmissions may not have contributed to the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes. “These patients couldn’t be responsible for introducing COVID into their nursing home because they had COVID before they went to hospital for treatment and before they were readmitted,” the report said.
Additionally, the report states that “most of the patients” who were re-admitted to nursing homes were likely no longer infectious by that point.