Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay On the DOH Report On Covid-19 Deaths In The State's Nursing Homes

“For months, the Cuomo administration and State Department of Health (DOH) have deflected accountability for the thousands of lives lost to COVID-19 in New York’s nursing homes. To the surprise of absolutely no one, they have now presented a report that continues to promote their pass-the-buck narrative.

While defending the now-infamous DOH order of March 25, which required nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients, today’s findings attribute the spread of the virus to federal guidance, nursing home staff, a lack of testing, visitors and family members.

State health officials have a responsibility to analyze and learn from the COVID-19 pandemic in order to better prepare for future crises. However, in no way does this report replace the need for a full, public accounting and independent investigation into what happened in nursing homes and adult care facilities across the state.

For months, members of the Assembly Minority Conference have called for hearings on the state’s response to the COVID outbreak in nursing homes. It’s time our colleagues in the Assembly and Senate majorities put a date on the calendar and get these under way.

If the DOH report is accurate, I’m sure they will appreciate an opportunity to discuss it with state lawmakers and independent investigators.”