Audit: NY Health Department under Cuomo ‘misled the public’ on nursing home deaths – What We Know!

Audit: NY Health Department under Cuomo 'misled the public' on nursing home deaths

A New York Division of Well being audit launched on Tuesday discovered that former Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoHochul, Cuomo neck and neck in hypothetical governor major: ballot Jeff Zucker paid million bonus in CNN exit deal: report Human Rights Marketing campaign rejects former president’s accusations of racism MORE (D) didn’t publicly account for the deaths of 4,100 nursing residence residents in New York through the coronavirus pandemic between April 2020 and February 2021.  

The audit from state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli indicated that Well being Division officers underreported the loss of life toll by as much as 50 p.c and concluded that the Well being Division fell in need of its “moral” and “ethical” obligations to report numbers precisely.

However internally, the division had the extra correct information. As of Feb. 3, 2021, the administration’s inner information reported 13,147 nursing residence resident deaths, however solely 9,076 deaths had been publicly reported, that means greater than 30 p.c of deaths weren’t made public, the report confirmed.

“Slightly than offering correct and dependable info throughout a public well being emergency, the division as an alternative conformed its presentation to the manager’s narrative, typically presenting information in a way that misled the general public,” the audit report stated.

“Our audit findings are extraordinarily troubling,” DiNapoli stated in a assertion. “The general public was misled by these on the highest degree of state authorities by means of distortion and suppression of the info when New Yorkers deserved the reality.”

In August, Cuomo resigned from his put up as governor amid sexual harassment allegations and questions over whether or not he deliberately downplayed nursing residence loss of life charges.

However through the pandemic, the governor touted New York as faring higher than different states whereas his administration typically solely counted nursing residence COVID-19–associated fatalities for individuals who died in these services, not in hospitals, in line with The New York Instances.

“No matter criticisms could now be directed on the prior administration referring to problems with transparency, or the actual classes of knowledge that had been publicly disclosed, these finally had been issues for the manager chamber of the prior administration and never division personnel,” Kristin Proud, performing govt deputy commissioner of the state Well being Division, stated in response to the report, the Instances reported.

In the meantime, New York Attorney Basic Letitia James (D), who carried out an investigation into the matter as nicely, stated on Tuesday that the audit affirmed a lot of the identical info that her workplace beforehand reported. 

“This audit affirms lots of the findings that we uncovered final yr concerning the state’s response to COVID, most notably that DOH and the previous governor undercounted the variety of deaths in nursing properties by as a lot as 50 p.c,” James stated in a press release. 

“My workplace will proceed to observe nursing residence situations and make sure the security of our most susceptible residents,” she added.