New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has been widely praised by liberals for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, though he has recently attracted scrutiny over his state’s high number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and other care facilities.
Now, an exclusive report from the Daily Caller News Foundation suggests that New York is attempting to undercount the number of adult care and nursing home residents who have perished from coronavirus, likely in an effort to minimize the official death toll in this category.
Cuomo changes course
According to the New York Post, Gov. Cuomo issued an order on March 25 that forced adult care facilities and nursing homes to accept COVID-19 infected patients, even as it was already known at that time that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions were the most susceptible to serious complications from the viral contagion.
It was only after Cuomo began to receive sustained criticism over that decision — brought on by a startlingly high death toll in those facilities — that the governor finally decided on May 11 to effectively rescind the prior order and allow adult care facilities and nursing homes to refuse to accept a patient until he or she tested negative for the virus, according to NBC News.
Unfortunately, thousands of residents of such facilities died from the coronavirus in the interim, perhaps unnecessarily.
As of Wednesday, the count stood at 5,433-plus, according to the Daily Caller, and now it appears that the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is fudging the numbers of those deaths in a bid to curtail its continued rise.
Deliberate underreporting continues
As the Daily Caller reports, according to the NYSDOH, up until the end of April residents of adult care facilities and nursing homes who died from the disease were officially noted as having lived in such facilities, regardless of whether they died in the residential facility or at a hospital.
In early May, however, a change was quietly made, and the residency status of adult care and nursing home COVID patients was only noted if they happened to die in the actual facilities, whereas their deaths would simply be added to the overall count — with no distinction of where they lived and got sick — if they died in a hospital.
Now, the tracking of New York’s coronavirus deaths “currently does not include out of facility deaths,” according to NYSDOH spokeswoman Jill Montag, who said, “Deaths of nursing home and adult care facility residents that occurred at hospitals is accounted for in the overall fatality data on our COVID-19 tracker.”
Thus, in this way New York has put forward the appearance that fewer adult care and nursing home residents are dying from the virus when, in actuality, the toll still remains disturbingly high and continues to grow.
“Blood on his hands”
Conservative talk radio host Mark Levin has been howling for weeks about the astonishing number of coronavirus deaths suffered by residents of adult care and nursing home facilities, and he even went so far as to accuse Gov. Cuomo of having “blood on his hands” that is directly attributable to his own policies.
The governor was caught red-handed placing vulnerable citizens at risk of exposure and death, and this gambit by his administration to quietly cap the number of fatalities caused by the ill-advised policy must be exposed for the self-interested public relations stunt that it is.