New York is the only state in the country that doesn't count patients who died in the hospital after being transferred from nursing homes in their overall COVID-19 fatality numbers. They only count those individuals who died on nursing home property. As such, current state data shows that 6,000 people have died in New York nursing homes, but the actual number is expected to be much higher.
And State Senator Jim Tedisco intends to find it. On Wednesday, Tedisco joined his colleague, Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens), to unveil a petition to demand legislation that will spur an independent investigation into how many New Yorkers in nursing homes actually died from COVID.
"It might be embarrassing for the governor to see that the numbers are 10,000, 11,000, 12,000, and I understand that," Tedisco said. "But that doesn't rise above the need to have the numbers to prepare put a plan in place of what not to do and what to do for the future."
"We need to give the family members closure and answers they deserve," he added.
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, whose in-laws died in separate New York nursing homes, has long blamed their demise on Gov. Cuomo's March 25 mandate that forced nursing home facilities to accept COVID patients. She brought attention to Tedisco's petition.
I need your help my friends! Please sign this petition demanding the Legislative Majorities bring bi-partisan legislation for an independent investigation with subpoena power to get the real numbers of NY nursing home residents who died from COVID-19 ???? https://t.co/RJuEmU46bf— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) September 16, 2020
"Sign the petition demanding the Legislative Majorities bring forth bi-partisan legislation (S.8756/A.10857 by Senator Tedisco and Assemblyman Kim) for an independent investigation with subpoena power to get the real numbers of residents who died from COVID-19 in state-regulated nursing homes," the petition reads. "Families deserve answers and closure and New York State must prepare for the future! Sign Now!"
Gov. Cuomo and his administration have chosen to blame everyone but their own policies for the nursing home tragedy. And the governor has so far rejected any of the bipartisan calls for independent investigations.