NY attorney general: Nursing home COVID-19 deaths undercounted by up to 50%

A report issued by Attorney General Letitia James Thursday morning alleges the Department of Health may have undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths by as much as 50% - in part because residents who passed away at the hospital were not included.
The report also revealed a lack of compliance with protocols that put residents at increased risk of harm, insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) for nursing home staff and that the state-issued guidance on March 25, which essentially required nursing homes to accept COVID positive patients, led to the deaths of at least 4,000 nursing home residents.
"This report underscores the need for the department of health to be more transparent," says Sen. James Skoufis.
The state senator is part of a bipartisan group of legislators in Albany that is calling for the release of the full count of deaths in nursing homes.
He says Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker stonewalled the state Legislature during hearings on nursing homes back in August, and he wants answers before for a hearing with the state Legislature on Feb 25. If not, he says he will support a subpoena to compel the state to release the information.
While Skoufis is threatening to subpoena the Department of Health, there are other state lawmakers now calling for criminal charges and the removal of leaders whose policies contributed to deaths of nursing home residents.