Borrello Calls For State Health Commissioner’s Resignation

Dr. Howard Zucker NYS Health Commissioner. File photo by Mike Groll / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

ALBANY – State Senator George Borrello is calling on the State’s Health Commissioner, Howard Zucker, to resign following the New York Attorney General’s Report on COVID nursing home death counts. 

Borrello released the following statement:

“The calls for truth and transparency from grieving families were finally answered today with the release of the Attorney General’s report on the undercounting of deaths of nursing home residents from COVID-19. After months of stonewalling, blame-casting and diversion by the Governor and Health Commissioner, we have confirmation that COVID deaths in nursing homes were undercounted by as much as 50 percent.”

“While this news cannot undo the damage and precious lives that were lost through reckless decisions, including the deadly March 25, 2020 order to send COVID-positive patients into nursing homes, these revelations will help ensure better oversight and vigilance going forward.

“While I echo the call of Leader Ortt and my colleagues for the resignation of the Health Commissioner, this in no way absolves the Governor of any wrongdoing. Nothing in the Cuomo administration happens without his knowledge and consent. We, as a legislative body, need to hold him accountable for this horrific tragedy and the bad decisions that led up to it.”

An investigation into nursing home deaths across New York State found the number of fatalities was undercounted. New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report of her office’s finding on Thursday.

She says her investigation revealed deaths were undercounted by as much as 50 percent. James also says that nursing homes’ lack of compliance with infection control protocols put residents at increased risk of harm and fatalities.


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