New York and Michigan continue to drag on nursing home deaths

Andrew Cuomo may no longer be governor of New York, but Albany officials are still withholding key facts about his murderous pandemic pol...


Andrew Cuomo may no longer be governor of New York, but Albany officials are still withholding key facts about his murderous pandemic policies. The same is true in Michigan, where state officials are hiding important details about equally dangerous measures adopted by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. More than 18 months after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, New York and Michigan are blocking attempts to shed light on the actions of these leaders, leaving the public in both states in the dark and blaming much more hard.

Our organizations have led the charge in New York and Michigan to ensure transparency regarding our governors’ pandemic policies and their effects. The Empire Center filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Health in August 2020 for details of the Cuomo administration’s directive that nursing homes accept hospital patients with Covid -19. In February, a state judge ruled that the agency had to hand over data, which led to initial and widely reported findings by the Empire Center that Mr. Cuomo was deliberately hiding the death toll in the homes of medical care.

This discovery was a victory for transparency, but it was far from complete. While the Empire Center requested 62 datasets, only five have been released. Several of those requests were denied, including one on August 23, during Mr. Cuomo’s final hours of work. Newly installed governor Kathy Hochul admitted the next day that the nursing home death toll was nearly 55,400, 12,000 more than previously admitted, but the underlying data is still withheld. Why does the state disseminate information in the form of drops? More importantly, what’s in the data that New York City refuses to release?

A similar story takes place in Michigan, where Ms Whitmer issued a nursing home policy similar to New York’s in April 2020. Journalist Charlie LeDuff submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Health and state social services in January. He also asked for details of the link between Governor Whitmer’s policies and deaths in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. When her request was denied, the Mackinac Center filed a lawsuit on her behalf.

Mr. LeDuff eventually settled with Michigan HHS, which agreed to release certain information. Yet the data released in May contained more questions than answers. Ms Whitmer maintains that approximately 5,700 people have died from Covid in Michigan nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Our best estimate, based on analysis of the limited data they published, would bring the number closer to 9,000. The Mackinac Center requested more information that would allow independent analysis of Covid-19 deaths, but this request has been turned down this month.

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Newsrust - US Top News: New York and Michigan continue to drag on nursing home deaths
New York and Michigan continue to drag on nursing home deaths
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