The undercounting of coronavirus deaths among New York nursing home residents is “a massive corruption scandal at the highest level” of state government, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., told “Hannity” Thursday.
State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker confirmed earlier Thursday that at least 12,743 long-term care residents had died of COVID-19 as of Jan. 19 of this year, more than 4,200 more than the official tally given on that day.
State Attorney General Letitia James had charged in a report released hours earlier that the nursing home death count could be off by about 50%. Zucker’s figure included for the first time 3,829 confirmed COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents who had been transported to hospitals.
REP. ELISE STEFANIK, R-N.Y.: We know that the March edict that the governor put in place … forced nursing homes to take positive COVID patients, which put at risk our most vulnerable constituents in New York State.
There have been advocates who have lost loved ones, who have been asking for answers, accountability and transparency. And at every turn, the governor and his staff heads have smeared those individuals. One of the most notable and most effective advocates is [FOX News senior meteorologist] Janice Dean, and they have belittled her each and every day, going so far as calling these family advocates part of a death cult.
Finally, today is the first step towards justice. We need to get answers and issue subpoenas immediately against the governor, the commissioner of health in New York State, Dr. Zucker, and his senior staff, because the corruption is the cover-up. They knew this number and yet they refused to be transparent with New Yorkers. But what was most heartless is [not] being more transparent with those that have lost loved ones.
The way to get answers is to issue subpoenas. Both Democrats and Republicans in the state Senate and state Assembly are finally coming together to issue subpoenas. We also need to continue the independent investigation at the federal level …These families deserve accountability and we need to make sure this never happens again.