From John Gilmore, Autism Action Network
Cuomo still won’t release nursing home deaths, Covid 19 hearings announced
July 17, 2020 — Hearings on New York State’s response to the covid 19 epidemic were announced by the State Senate and Assembly. These hearings will be an indirect way to examine how Governor Andrew Cuomo has performed. He was given complete control over the response to covid 19 by the legislature on March 3.
The most important hearings, based on the estimated number of deaths resulting from policy decisions will be hearings on the nursing home fiasco scheduled for August 3 and 10, and on the subways on August 25.
Cuomo had been criticized for his decision, since rescinded, to force nursing homes to admit patients with active cases of covid 19, even though CDC safety guidelines could not be followed, and his Executive Order prohibited nursing homes from even testing residents for covid 19.
Cuomo still has not released information on how many people caught covid 19 in nursing homes but died in hospitals, and other locations, outside the nursing homes.
Before you take action on these issues if you value the information and advocacy provided to you by the autism action network please make us possible for us to do so by supporting our one fundraising event of the year we do in conjunction with the Autism Community Walk, here: https://grouprev.com/autismcommunitywalk2020 which is TENTATIVELY scheduled for Sunday, October 18 in Belmont Lake State Park in Babylon, NY.
Please click on this link Take Action to send messages to the Governor, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, Speaker Carl Heastie, Assembly Health Chair Richard Gottfried, Senate Health Chair Gustavo Rivera, your State Senator and your Assemblymember asking them to release the number of people who died in nursing homes and who contracted covid 19 in a nursing home but died in a hospital or other location.
Here is the TAKE ACTION link (in case hyper-link doesn’t work) – https://cqrcengage.com/achamp/app/write-a-letter?7&engagementId=508693&ep=AAAAC2Flc0NpcGhlcjAxXowkdWon9S06mKof_xZhSDuXxhGRYIfntyRqM6mNKI9jC5pul-wE0cilvOCWtOBywk4UfULDe0qmg_n11GgHKgW1yNJ3BTXOAt__MW0NlTc&lp=0
IF for any reason the TAKE ACTION link doesn’t work for you, please find your State Reps at the following links:
Find YOUR Assemblymember here – https://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/search/
Find YOUR Senator here – https://www.nysenate.gov/registration/nojs/form/start/find-my-senator
Cuomo is also making it difficult to find the current number of nursing home deaths. That number is not released by the State. The raw data is though. It can be calculated by doing the following:
- Find an online PDF document at the NYS Department of Health website at: https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/diseases/covid-19/fatalities_nursing_home_acf.pdf
- Add up 252 numbers, which includes 4 separate numbers for each on New York’s for 63 counties in New York,
- The current death total is 6482. BUT as it says on the NYSDOH document, “This data does not reflect COVID-19 confirmed or COVID-19 presumed positive deaths that occurred outside of the facility.”
The hearing on the Metropolitan Transit Authority (subways) is crucial as well. Cuomo, not NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, has ultimate control over the MTA subways. In March, the number of trains were substantially reduced, which resulted in the remaining trains being packed with riders. In April a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study said, “New York City’s multipronged subway system was a major disseminator – if not the principal transmission vehicle – of coronavirus infection during the initial takeoff of the massive epidemic that became evident throughout the city during March 2020.”
The Subways Seeded the Massive Coronavirus Epidemic in New York City Jeffrey E. Harris http://web.mit.edu/jeffrey/harris/HarrisJE_WP2_COVID19_NYC_24-Apr-2020.pdf
There is no mention of the hearings currently on the State Senate website (nysenate.gov.)
July 28 – How COVID-19 Has Impacted Higher Education: This hearing will examine how COVID-19 affected higher education institutions, students and faculty in the 2020 Spring semester and the impact it will have on the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.
August 3 & August 10 – Residential Health Care Facilities and COVID-19: These hearings will review New York State’s rate of infection and mortality due to COVID-19 in residential health care facilities.
August 11 – Elections in a Pandemic: A Review of the 2020 Primaries: This hearing will review the turnout and systemic voting issues in the 2020 primary elections and evaluate how well New York handled voting during a pandemic.
August 12 – Hospitals and COVID-19: This hearing will review New York State’s rate of infection and mortality due to COVID-19 in hospitals.
August 13 – Impact of COVID-19 on Workers: This hearing will explore the impacts of COVID-19 from a worker’s perspective, including unemployment insurance receipts, workplace safety standards and the impact of the federal Payroll Protection Program on maintaining employment.
August 14 – How COVID-19 Impacts New York’s Veteran Community: This hearing will examine how COVID-19 affected veterans.
August 25 – COVID-19 and the MTA: This hearing will evaluate the financial and operational impacts of COVID-19 on the MTA.