State AG says New York massively undercounted nursing home COVID-19 deaths

The administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) undercounted the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent, according to a new report from the state attorney general.

The 76-page report from Attorney General Letitia James (D) is based on preliminary findings from an investigation that began in March into nursing home policies that caused abuse and neglect and put the lives of patients and staff in danger.

The state has reported about 8,600 nursing home deaths tied to the coronavirus since the pandemic began. Overall COVID-19 deaths in the Empire State exceed 40,000.

Cuomo has been dogged by accusations of obscuring the true death toll in nursing homes across the state at the height of the pandemic last spring.

New York only counted residents who died on nursing home property, rather than any who were transferred to hospitals. But according to the report, most of the deaths occurred in hospitals.