ALBANY – State Senator George Borrello is calling on an investigation by the Federal Government into what the New York Attorney General’s Office is calling an undercounting of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.
Borrello spoke with WNY News Now during an interview Friday morning. New York Attorney General Leticia James says that the deaths were counted by as much as 50 percent.
The Republican Senator explains that New York’s strategy in accounting for COVID-19 deaths is different compared to the rest of the country.
“New York State was the only state to account for those deaths in that matter,” Borrello said. “Whether or not the AG can get to the bottom of it, I don’t know. I think the AG has pointed out a very serious defect and flaw. Now, I think it’s up to the federal government to do a thorough investigation. I’m calling on a federal investigation into this situation.”
Borrello says that the Department of Justice needs to step in for an “independent” investigation. He says that the “independent” investigation, which he’ll be calling for in a letter, is expected to receive bipartisan support.
Other officials also weighed in on the report. Congressman Tom Reed released the following statement in the wake of the findings:
“In early March, they received and began to investigate allegations and indications of COVID-19-related neglect of residents in nursing homes.
Since May of last year, we have worked tirelessly to shine a light on New York’s disastrous nursing home policies to ensure such a colossal public health failure never happens again.
Instead of working with us, Governor Cuomo’s only response has been to ruthlessly attack anyone who questioned the state’s disastrous policies, including those from his party, deny any wrongdoing, and hide damning nursing home fatalities data that would implicate his administration.
Now, the state’s incompetence and gross negligence have been confirmed by its own Attorney General.
As we called for last year, a full federal investigation into New York’s disastrous handling of the COVID-19 crisis is desperately needed. Given the state’s refusal to be transparent, we must also hold additional congressional hearings to fully understand the scope of the state’s incompetence, as well as the state’s efforts to obfuscate the truth.
Governor Cuomo’s lies cannot go on. To the New Yorkers who lost a loved one due to these failed policies, know that this is one step closer towards justice.”