In an appearance on Fox News Channel on Tuesday, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) explained her call for an investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and New York State government for the handling of nursing home policy at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Stefanik said the investigation should come from the federal government, not her state’s attorney general.
“New York has mismanaged how we approached and how we protected our seniors in our nursing homes,” she said. “We knew going into this that our most vulnerable are our seniors and particularly in those assisted living facilities, whether they’re senior living facilities or nursing homes. New York, when compared to other states, took a number of negative actions that cost over 5,000 lives. The governor took executive action, forcing positive COVID cases back into nursing homes. There was zero transparency in terms of informing the seniors, the workers, or the family members, whether there were positive cases. They also didn’t fully tell the public how many seniors deaths there were coming from nursing homes. So that reporting data, they didn’t count the hospital deaths when there was a positive case that was transmitted because of the senior nursing home.”
“We took the opposite approach in my district, and I have to applaud the county public health officials,” Stefanik continued. “In our first case of a senior assisted living facility, the county public health office, this was not taking guidance from New York State. They did this on their own. They put out the information in a transparent way to ensure that other seniors and families in that assisted living facility were notified of that immediately. So I believe that these families owe answers. We cannot dismiss their concerns. I’ve heard from families who are still grieving for loss of their loved ones, and they deserve answers. And it’s not just Republicans who are calling for this independent investigation. It’s Democrats as well. It cannot be conducted by New York’s attorney general either. It needs to be an independent investigation. I’m calling for the Department of HHS to conduct this independent investigation. But I think it needs to come from the federal government.”
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