A policy by Cuomo administration to allow coronavirus patients to enter nursing homes might have led to more than 1,000 residents’residents’ death. The data revealed by the nonprofit Empire Center for Public Policy shows that several hundred and maybe more than 1,000 died since March 25, 2020. The Cuomo administration is currently under scrutiny to reveal exact figures. The lives of several vulnerable seniors in the state were lost.
Policy by Cuomo administration devastated nursing home conditions
The data regarding the number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes brews controversies. More than one out of six nursing home deaths totals to 5,780 statewide comes between late March and early May 2020. The figure contradicts the numbers at the center level under the Department of Health. According to the July 6 report, there is a vast difference between the numbers given and the actual figures.
According to a draft reported by Empire Center, the admission policy was not significant for fatalities in nursing homes. Also, the data doesn’tdoesn’t show consistent relation between admission and higher mortality.
The Department of Health from the state blamed coronavirus spread on nursing homes to asymptomatic staff and visitors. Moreover, they stressed citing that Governor Andrew Cuomo is not responsible for this. However, he did warn about the same on March 29. He had remarked by saying that coronavirus in nursing homes will be like fire in dry grass.
How Cuomo administration came under scrutiny
The data by Empire Center was presented based on what DOH released at the watchdog group. They had to respond to the requests by the Freedom of Information Law.
According to the Albany-based think tank, there were comparisons made regarding the death rates. According to the number of hospitals that took admissions of coronavirus patients and discharged them healthily, some data was missing. The statistics showed a clear 99% assurance of missing reports of deaths.
According to the study, nursing homes situated outside New York City and suburbs bore the brunt for just miscalculations. With every one accepted patient with coronavirus, there was an average of 9.3 deaths. These people were residents and wouldn’twouldn’t have been infected otherwise. In and around New York City, the statistics are very different. Since the coronavirus spread was rapid in the city during the early days, there could have been mismanagement. However, the concluding aspect of the report by March 25, 2020, was not the primary reason for the high death toll in nursing homes.
Cuomo’s policies are questionable to the center
Bill Hammond, a senior at the center for health policy and the author of the report, said that the policy by the Cuomo administration on May 10 made things worse.
According to Hammond, the review data raises several questions about the DOH’s credibility of the analysis. Hammond quoted that the methodology was questionable. Further, he said that the state used partial data to report about both admissions and deaths.
Hammond said that the state did not seem to look for a statistical correlation, let alone report the same.
Cuomo administration defends their end
Howard Zucker, the Health Commissioner, defended by saying the report by Empire Center is consistent with the analysis by DOH. He said that by March 25, coronavirus fatalities in nursing homes happened due to visitors and staff.
Zucker quoted a section from the Empire Center that said about the havoc created in nursing homes for not following guidance memo sent out on March 25.
Attorney General Letitia James sent out a report regarding Cuomo’s administrative mishap. The Empire Center followed up on this after that report. The report clearly stated the possibilities of nursing home residents being at risk due to policies laid down.
The report by James gave an estimation of the DOH tally of nursing home fatalities, which included people who died in those homes. According to her, the government has underreported deaths by 50% or higher. It includes hospital deaths as well.
After the assertation, Zucker had to release correct figures that pushed the death toll from less than 9,000 to more approximately 13,000 across the state. They announced the exact count of 13,473 soon after that.
There is public outrage against Cuomo right now. His top aide Melissa DeRosa admitted that the state did not give actual figures of nursing home fatalities. Lawmakers pushed them to reveal the details.
There is a new probe launched by the FBI and Brooklyn US Attorney Office to investigate the matter. The scrutiny will reveal the actual figures and events related to it.