Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik called for an “independent investigation” into Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home policies Tuesday after reports emerged that the state was undercounting the number of coronavirus-related deaths in assisted living facilities.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Friday that the state had started omitting the deaths of nursing home patients who died in hospitals. New York still leads the nation with over 5,000 nursing home deaths. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Jan.21: Fauci Says Coronavirus ‘Not A Major Threat’ To U.S.)
“New York has mismanaged how we have approached and how we’ve protected our seniors in our nursing homes. We knew, going into this, that our most vulnerable are our seniors and particularly in those assisted living facilities, whether they’re senior living facilities or nursing homes,” Stefanik said during an appearance on Fox & Friends.
Cuomo initially required nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients, but he reversed that policy earlier this month.
“New York, when compared to other states, took a number of negative actions that cost over 5,000 lives,” Stefanik said. “They also didn’t fully tell the public how many seniors’ deaths there were coming from nursing homes. So that reporting data, they didn’t count the hospital deaths when there was a positive case that was transmitted because of the senior nursing home.”
Stefanik added that she does not believe a fair investigation can be conducted by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James. (RELATED: Gov. Cuomo Tells Unemployed Americans To ‘Go Take A Job As An Essential Worker’)
“I’ve heard from families who are still grieving for loss of their loved ones and they deserve answers. And it’s not just Republicans who are calling for this independent investigation. It’s Democrats as well. It cannot be conducted by New York’s attorney general either. It needs to be an independent investigation,” Stefanik said. “I’m calling for the Department of HHS to conduct this independent investigation, but I think it needs to come from the federal government.”