Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo touted misleading statistics on nursing home deaths Wednesday to defend his approach to nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cuomo has faced criticism for a March 25 order requiring nursing homes and other adult care facilities to accept recovering coronavirus patients — an order that the governor took six weeks to undo.
“In general, you look at how New York did, we’re in Washington, you look how New York did on nursing homes vis-a-vis the nation, we did better than 33 States in the nation, per capita on nursing homes,” Cuomo asserted at Wednesday’s press conference.
“Nursing homes happened to be the place where this virus ravages, despite the fact that we had the greatest number of cases and we were in the eye of the storm. You look at us vis-a-vis the country, where we did better than 33 other states, then those are just facts,” Cuomo declared.
But the Cuomo administration has knowingly omitted an unknown number of deaths from its official figures on coronavirus deaths in nursing homes, the administration acknowledged earlier in May following a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
Sometime between April 28 and May 3, the Cuomo administration quietly changed its criteria for counting coronavirus-related nursing home deaths to omit the deaths of nursing home residents who died outside the physical nursing home, the DCNF’s investigation found.
Before the change, New York’s tally of nursing home deaths included all deaths of nursing home residents, regardless of whether they died at the nursing home or the hospital.
In other words: A nursing home resident who becomes sick at their nursing home and then dies five minutes after arriving at a hospital is not counted in the state’s tally of nursing home deaths.
Of the nine states with the largest coronavirus outbreaks at long-term care facilities, New York was the only state to omit the deaths of residents who died at hospitals from its reporting, at the time that the DCNF published its investigation.
The change in New York’s method of reporting nursing home deaths came after Cuomo began facing scrutiny for the rising number of fatalities in such facilities.
Cuomo’s office didn’t return a request for comment for this article.
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