Republican members of the House of Representatives have announced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of thousands of senior citizens in nursing homes during the coronavirus crisis, with a particular focus on the state of New York.
As reported by Just The News, the investigation is being led by Republicans from the House Oversight Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, who said that prior attempts to investigate the matter by New York state authorities were insufficient.
“We owe it to the thousands of families who lost loved ones in New York nursing homes to hold Governor Cuomo accountable for his reckless policies that likely contributed to their deaths,” said Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer. “It’s past time New York officials provide Congress all information and data about former Governor Cuomo’s deadly order. We need answers and accountability now.”
The scandal erupted during the tenure of Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), who issued an executive order in March of 2020 ordering all nursing homes in the state to accept COVID-19 patients, despite the high risk of fatalities. Cuomo ultimately rescinded the order in May of that same year, but only after thousands had died as a direct result of the order.
The Cuomo Administration initially lied about the total number of deaths, before leaked statements from top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa confirmed that they had hid certain data on nursing home deaths from the public due to the fear of political backlash. Cuomo subsequently faced widespread and bipartisan criticism; the scandal, along with a concurrent sexual harassment scandal, ultimately led to Cuomo’s resignation as governor.
There was eventually an audit of the COVID-19 nursing home data by the New York State Comptroller’s office, which said that New York’s Health Department “failed to account for more than approximately 4,100 lives in nursing homes due to COVID-19.”
“We determined that, rather than providing accurate and reliable information during a public health emergency, the Department instead conformed its presentation to the Executive’s narrative, often presenting data in a manner that misled the public,” the audit continued.
Several members of Congress sent a letter to the office of the new governor, Kathy Hochul demanding key records relevant to their investigation, vowing justice for the families of those who died.
“Every family deserves answers and accountability for Corrupt Cuomo’s order that resulted in the deaths of thousands of seniors in New York’s nursing homes,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Chair of the House Republican Conference. “For the sake of families who needlessly lost loved ones, I am providing critical oversight of all data on Cuomo’s deadly order. We must know how much Kathy Hochul knew about Cuomo’s criminal nursing home coverup and have accountability for the senseless loss of lives.”