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NYS Assembly Majority Leader 'infuriated' by state's handling of nursing home death data

New York Legislature
Posted at 1:56 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 14:59:13-05

NEW YORK (WKBW) — Thursday evening the New York Post reported Secretary to the Governor, Melissa DeRosa, privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for the way the state handled nursing home death data and allegedly said the state thought the numbers would be used against them by federal prosecutors.

The New York Post says DeRosa made the statements during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders. The Post says according to an audio recording of the meeting DeRosa allegedly stated the administration didn't fulfill a legislative request for the nursing home data in August because former President Donald Trump turned the death of nursing home patients into "political football" and reportedly directed the Department of Justice to begin an investigation.

New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D - 141st District) released the following statement to WKBW on the report:

I was not on yesterday's call with the Governor’s administration where data on nursing home deaths was discussed. I am infuriated that politics trumped people and policy. The respective Assembly committee chairs had previously requested information regarding the State Department of Health data and its handling of nursing homes during COVID-19. Waiting over six months for a response is unacceptable. I expect the Department and administration to promptly fulfill all future information requests from the legislature. I was unaware of any dealings with the U.S. Department of Justice and only learned about it from the respective media
- New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes (D - 141st District)

Elected leaders are responding, with some calling for an investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo following the release of the report. You can find more information here.