Statement by Bill Hammond

Bill Hammond, senior fellow with the Empire Center, offered the following statement in response to the New York Attorney General’s report that the state is undercounting nursing home COVID-19 deaths by as much as 50 percent:

“The attorney general’s report confirms that the Health Department is grossly underreporting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, leaving thousands uncounted, as the Empire Center and other critics have warned for months.

“The report also raises new questions about the limited data that the department releases, which omits residents who were transferred to hospital before dying. The attorney general found evidence that even the DOH’s count of in-facility deaths is substantially lower than the true toll.

“Surprisingly, this report still does not disclose the full data being collected by the department, which includes hospitals transfers and has been repeatedly requested by the Legislature and others, including the Empire Center.

“It’s shocking that the Cuomo administration continues to withhold basic information about a major public health crisis that New Yorkers urgently want to know and clearly have a right to know.”

For more information on the Empire Center’s fight for the truth about New York’s nursing home nightmare, including the initial FOIL request that sparked investigation, click here.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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