Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (64th A.D.- Staten Island/Brooklyn) released a letter on Friday calling on U.S. Attorney General William Barr to initiate an investigation into the ever-growing scandal about the care and handling of COVID-19 patients in Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF) in New York state. In her letter, Malliotakis said, It is my fear and belief that to leave it in the hands of our governor and Attorney General Letitia James would be a disservice to those we have lost and the families who mourn them.
Over 5,000 patients in LTCFs in New York state are believed to have succumbed to COVID-19 since the outbreak struck New York City and the state earlier this year. In many cases, the infection and subsequent deaths of patients can be attributed to the fact that the Cuomo administration mandated, in an Executive Order, that LTCFs must accept the transfer of stabilized patients already infected with the COVID-19 virus. The objections of many LTCF operators, who correctly felt the acceptance of infected patients would lead to outbreaks within the facilities putting residents and staff at risk, fell on deaf ears. Additionally, most LTCFs did not have the required PPE to fully protect staff and patients, while also dealing staffing issues due to the outbreak.