Over the summer, New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker reported that just over 6,600 individuals in nursing homes died from COVID or COVID complications last year. But a new report released by state attorney general Letitia James confirms what many of us suspected - that the Cuomo administration severely undercounted the number of fatalities. In fact, the data could have been undercounted by as much as 50 percent.
New York lawmakers have begun to demand some accountability from the New York State Health Department for shielding the tragic truth.
"This is a gross dereliction of duty in the middle of the worst public health crisis that perhaps we have seen in our life time," said NYS Senator Rob Ortt.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who ran for governor against Cuomo in 2018, defined it as pure evil.
It was organized intentional deception, on top of incompetence - and, led to the loss of lives, excruciating pain and is an absolute betrayal. pic.twitter.com/tfPnSeeVvm— Marc Molinaro (@marcmolinaro) January 28, 2021
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) agreed, releasing a statement that upgraded the controversy from a "nursing home scandal" to "a massive corruption and coverup scandal at the highest level of New York State Government implicating the Governor, the Secretary to the Governor, the New York State Health Commissioner and the Governor’s staff."
The New York State Senate Republicans suggested that Zucker's resignation would be a "good first step."
The resignation of Health Commissioner Zucker would be a good first step to restore the public trust.— NYS Senate Republicans (@nysenategop) January 28, 2021
Next, subpoenas must be served, and a full, independent investigation must be done immediately. https://t.co/3I7PqibAhN
Calls for Cuomo's resignation won't be far behind.