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Statement on New York Attorney General report accusing Cuomo administration of undercounting COVID-19 related deaths at nursing homes by as much as 50%

CONTACT: Peter Giunta, 347.621.8031

The following statement is from Assemblymember Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island) on a report, released this morning by New York Attorney General Letitia James, accusing the Cuomo administration of undercounting COVID-19 related deaths at nursing homes by as much as 50%:

“The report from Attorney General James confirms a suspicion that I – and I know many of my like-minded colleagues – have had for quite some time.  The Cuomo administration was far from truthful in their reporting of COVID-19 data obtained from nursing home facilities. 

I have maintained for months that an independent investigation must be opened to figure out whether the policies put in place by the Cuomo administration and state health officials were the cause of the alarming rate of death throughout our state’s nursing home facilities network – a rate we now know to be greater than originally thought.

Now that we are closer to the truth, we must also seek accountability.  Quite frankly, Democrats in the State Legislature let Dr. Howard Zucker, the Commissioner of the State Health Department, off the hook when he testified during a public hearing into the matter last year – instead, New Yorkers were treated to a dog and pony show, and the families of those who perished in a nursing home facility were not even given an opportunity to provide testimony.  It is now up to those same Democrats to decide whether or not any action will be taken to hold those who are responsible accountable.

It is wholly unacceptable that these families have had to wait this long for a sliver of transparency.  I urge all my colleagues, especially those in a legislative leadership position, to do the right thing by putting partisan politics aside and actually take steps to hold Governor Cuomo accountable.”

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