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Cuomo: nursing home data could have been released faster

Gov. Cuomo gives New York parolees right to vote
Posted at 5:37 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 10:22:04-05

A void of information caused misinformation and conspiracy theories about the state’s handling of COVID-19 related deaths in nursing homes.

That’s according to Governor Andrew Cuomo who admitted the state could’ve shared information faster, but did not apologize for the state’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes.

Cuomo outlined what he called the facts related to coronavirus deaths of nursing home patients. He said COVID-19 was already in nursing homes. According to Cuomo, the March 25 state memo, directing hospitals to send COVID-19 positive patients back to nursing homes didn’t further the spread in nursing homes themselves.

He also said deaths were fully, publicly, and accurately reported.

But, a report by the New York Attorney General found the state may have under counted COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents by thousands.

Just last week, Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa told democratic lawmakers that the administration took months to release data on the coronavirus death toll among nursing home residents because officials “froze” over worries the information was “going to be used against us."

Still the governor said the state did all it could to protect nursing home residents.

“These are the facts. Everything that could have been done was done. You can’t say to a loved one well maybe something could have been done. That’s a cruel torture especially when it’s not true,” he said.

“No one’s trying to get someone here,” said Republican Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay. If the governor’s not going to be forthcoming, we need to force his hand.”

Minority Leader Barclay is calling for a special session to deal with all things nursing home related and to discuss repealing Cuomo’s emergency powers which all him to make executive decisions without legislative approval. There’s no word whether Speaker Carl Heastie will call for a special session this week.