New York state Senate Republicans are calling on the state’s health commissioner to release more data on COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
It comes after a state attorney general report last week found the state could be undercounting those deaths by up to 50 percent, a finding Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration denies. Republican Senator Sue Serino of the Hudson Valley says the Democratic majority should join the call to launch a complete investigation into COVID’s impact on nursing homes.
“We’ve had a subpoena drafted and if any of my colleagues in the Senate majority are really serious about issuing a subpoena and launching a thorough investigation, all they have to do is sign and send it,” Serino said during a video press conference Wednesday. “Like so many last week I sat watching in horror as the governor when given an opportunity to apologize to thousands of families who lost their loved ones, instead callously asked the question ‘Who cares? Who cares where thousands of New Yorkers died?’ We care.”
Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker is set to testify during a legislative budget hearing later this month, a meeting that had been scheduled for Tuesday. Also Tuesday, a state Supreme Court judge ordered the State Health Department to release information on nursing home deaths requested by the conservative think-tank Empire Center within five days.