In-Depth: Cuomo’s resignation reignites search for answers on COVID-19 nursing home deaths
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Many are still searching for answers on COVID-related nursing home deaths in the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul says she will be transparent with those answers when she officially takes office. Families of those in nursing homes say they want the impeachment trial to continue, and they want to see criminal charges too.
"When you think back, that 15,000 people,” Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes (R, C-Caledonia) said.
Throughout New York State, many remain affected by the death toll inside nursing homes during the pandemic.
“Failure to thrive is on her death certificate, I never want Governor Cuomo to forget the words failure to thrive, due to the isolation the lack of care and it’s still there and where’s our justice,” Kim Brown said.
Brown’s mother died in a nursing home during the height of the pandemic.
New York’s Assembly Judiciary Committee said they’d like to complete the impeachment investigation into Cuomo, especially his handling and transparency of those deaths.
"I do believe the things we talk about need to see the light of day, and that’s why I’m pushing for this investigation and the impeachment proceedings to continue,” Byrnes said.
"We want him to have legal accountability for the deaths and declines of our loved ones,” Brown added.
Brown said when she heard Hochul say that she’ll give full transparency on the nursing home death data when she becomes governor, she believed her every word.
"I do believe that she will continue this investigation and she won’t let it get swept under the rug,” Brown said.
Brown said in the coming weeks she hopes families around the state get the closure they need.
"He got to see his mom and be with his mom, I don’t get to see my mom anymore,” Brown said.
News10NBC went In-Depth on the nursing home frustrations.
In March 2020, Cuomo issued a directive prohibiting nursing homes from denying admission to residents who had been hospitalized with COVID-19. On top of that, families weren’t allowed to see their loved ones in person.
It wasn’t until January of this year, that we learned about the discrepancies in the reporting of nursing home COVID-19 deaths when a report from New York’s Attorney General found the Department of Health’s published nursing home death data may have been undercounted by as much as 50%.