Sounds like the local New York News may finally be catching up to something that I reported back on May 15 about the funny business when it comes to counting nursing home deaths in New York.
Because up until April 28, according to the New York State Health Department (NYSHD), they counted people who lived in nursing homes as dying in the nursing home as a nursing home death, even if in the last stages that person went to the hospital and died there.
But in early May, the reports the NYSDOH was putting out began omitting nursing home residents who died in the hospital thus obscuring a number of nursing home deaths. So there are actually even more than 5,433.
So why did they change the way they were doing it then? That was right around the time that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was coming under a lot of scrutiny and criticism for his nursing home order requiring nursing homes to accept patients who were positive for the Wuhan coronavirus. So three guesses as to why they changed their method of counting to make the nursing home count look lower.
The Daily Caller initially broke the story on the scam.
But surprise, surprise, the national media never picked up or reported on the story.
I wonder why? Could it have had anything to do with their effort to paint Cuomo as a possible presidential candidate in the future?
Now Bill Hammond who is a Senior Fellow for Health Policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy, a government watch dog group, says that New York has been misrepresenting the number of nursing home deaths. He spoke with Anne McCloy of CBS 6.
“The State has been counting nursing home deaths in an unusual way,” he said. [….]
Anne: “Why is it important to get the real numbers?”
Bill Hammond: “To learn lessons from it.”
Hammond says the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is only releasing the number of deaths that occurred within the four walls of the nursing home, and is not including deaths at hospitals. So, Hammond pulled different numbers, instead analyzing the number of empty beds, or vacancies.
Hammond tried to get around that the state agency refused to release the complete information.
“A 13-point difference means there are 13,000 normally there who aren’t there,” Hammond said.
NYSDOH has the death rate from nursing homes at about 6,500, but with the vacancy rate at 13,000, Hammond says the death count is likely much higher. The agency did not provide CBS 6 the number of nursing home deaths from hospitals.
Hammond thinks they’re just trying to avoid the fallout which they know would come with the truth.
Cuomo’s Senior Advisor Rich Azzopardi downplayed the question. “Trust shady right-wing think tanks with undisclosed funders at your own peril,” he said trying to blame the deaths on “asymptomatic staffers” and claiming the spike came before Cuomo’s March 25 order.
Hammond called for transparency and said that Cuomo is taking the wrong position by avoiding transparency on the issue.
The State does plan on looking into the handling of the virus in the nursing homes with hearings that start on Monday.
Cuomo may have been able to avoid scrutiny of this so far, with the media ignoring the story.
But it’s going to be pretty hard to dow that with hearings looking into how everything was dealt with and local people are not going to hold back with their anger at everything Cuomo did.