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Hiding info about COVID-19 nursing home deaths reveals another side of New York Governor

This incident poses a serious question mark on whether the country is following in China's footsteps by concealing such critical information?

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A report of a leaked video conference call by the New York Post suggests concealment of COVID-19 nursing home deaths by the New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

The outrage was sparked by the state officials following a report of a leaked video conference call. The instance was first reported by the New York Post and verified by the New York Times. Reportedly, the New York governor’s top advisor privately apologized for not disclosing the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 in the nursing home.

As per the reports of The Post, Melisa DeRosa, the secretary to Governor said that the state was extremely afraid of the actual numbers being used by the federal prosecutors against them amidst Trump’s demands for the US Justice Department to investigate Cuomo’s COVID-19 response.

Following a blowback from the officials during the conference, DeRosa said that they apologize and that they know it is unfair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans,” she explained.

The New York Times cited Melissa DeRosa as stating, “we needed to temporarily set aside the legislature’s request to deal with the federal request first,” and the upper and lower houses of the New York legislature were “informed … of this at the time”.

The news was disclosed following the release of two reports that present a grim picture of the response of the state. Andrew Cuomo whose administration had received plaudits for the management of pandemic following an early outbreak in March-April 2020 has now come under fire owing to an order dating March 25 to relocate the infected patients of nursing homes back to elderly care facilities in order to make room in the hospitals.

Last summer, a report was issued by the New York State Department of Health that claimed that the policy that was overturned in May was not a major factor for the death count.

9000 recovering COVID-19 patients in New York were found to be released from the hospital into nursing home centers, in an Associated Press review of documents that was issued on Thursday. The patients were released in view of a contentious order that was later scrapped following heavy criticism and exacerbating outbreaks.

The latest estimate of 9,056 recovering patients being released to hundreds of nursing homes is more than 40 percent higher than the earlier estimates given by the state health department.

A report that was published on January 28 by Letitia James – the New York State Attorney General, stated that “a larger number of nursing home residents died from COVID-19 than the [DOH] published nursing home data reflected”. She also added further saying that the undercounting could be as severe as 50%.

“The investigations also revealed that nursing homes’ lack of compliance with infection control protocols put residents at increased risk of harm, and facilities that had lower pre-pandemic staffing ratings had higher COVID-19 fatality rates,” said James.

The State Attorney General is further probing into the matter investigating more than 20 nursing home centers.

Andrew Cuomo has not released a statement over the report by the New York Post, as yet. As per the estimates of Johns Hopkins University, more than 27,412,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a minimum of 476,000 deaths have taken place in the US.

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