Local lawmakers respond to New York Times report on nursing home fatality data changes

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Dan Mathias, who lost his mother to the coronavirus, told NEWS10—after reading the New York Times article alleging Governor Cuomo’s top aids changed COVID-19 nursing home fatality data—that he was appalled, but not surprised.

“When my mother passed away, we knew that the numbers in her nursing home were incorrect,” explained Dan Mathias. “I mean, we knew some of the people, personally, that had passed away and the department of health website still showed only 2 deaths in her nursing home from COVID.”

Republican Senator, Jim Tedisco, believes Governor Cuomo as well as other high ranking decision makers, should be held accountable for not being forthcoming with nursing home fatality information, calling this a cover up, adding that over 15,000 nursing home residents have lost their lives.

“That is a true tragedy for the family members that lost loved ones,” stated Tedisco.” They deserve to be counted, and now they will be counted. And I have to say this, he deserves to leave office, be impeached, or this criminal element— this investigation that’s taking place with the FBI, with the US attorneys may lead to an obstruction of justice which I do believe this is.”

Democratic Assemblyman, John McDonald, also weighed in calling the New York Times report troubling.

“It bears further investigation,” said McDonald. “As you know, there are already inquiries by law enforcement at the federal level and we look forward to the out come of that investigation to see what next steps should be.”

The New York Times article specifically names 3 of Governor Cuomos aides who were involved in changing the report. However in a statement released on Friday, Beth Garvey, Special Counsel to the Governor releasing a statement saying in part,

“COVID Taskforce members, including Melissa DeRosa, Linda Lacewell, and Jim Malatras, were involved in reviewing the draft report — none of them changed any of the fatality numbers or “altered” the fatality data.”

Dan Mathias said if the statistics were in fact manipulated for whatever purpose, it’s dishonest and wrong.

“I think an investigation has to take place into what transpired and if he was involved in manipulating these statistics as this story alleges, then he should be removed from office.”

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