Top aides to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo successfully lobbied state health officials to remove a public report of data showing that more nursing home residents had died from COVID-19 than the administration had acknowledged, according to people with knowledge of the production of the report. The July report, which examined the factors that led to the spread of the virus in nursing homes, focused only on residents who died within long-term care facilities, leaving out those who had died in hospitals. after getting sick in nursing homes. As a result, the report said 6,432 nursing home residents had died, a count significantly lower than the death toll attributed to the state’s most vulnerable population, the people said.
Changes Cuomo’s aides and health officials made to the nursing home report, which have not been previously disclosed, reveal that the state had a more complete accounting of off-site nursing home deaths since the summer. 2020. The Health Department resisted calls from state and federal lawmakers, the media and others to release the data for another eight months. State officials now say that more than 15,000 residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have been confirmed or presumed to have died from COVID-19 since March last year, counting as many who died in care facilities. long-term like those who later died in hospitals. That figure is roughly 50% higher than previous official death figures. Cuomo now faces mounting political pressure over his administration’s handling of the pandemic in nursing homes and allegations that he sexually harassed two former employees. Republicans and some Democrats have called for the governor to resign or be charged. An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com. Also popular on WSJ.com: OSHA’s job is workplace safety. In the COVID-19 pandemic, he often ran into trouble. The COVID-19 baby bust is here.