FOLLOW UP: Chuck Schumer on ‘The View’ on March 11, 2021

Facts and follow up based on the March 11, 2021 interview Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had with ‘The View.’ 

Meghan McCain asks on The View March 11, 2021:

“The Cuomo administration has been accused of concealing the actual number of nursing home covid deaths that took place during the first surge. Now it’s actually being reported that the administration also ordered group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to accept coronavirus patients and never rescinded the order. Some democrats are calling Cuomo to be impeached or resign over this. Do you believe he should resign as well? 

Chuck Schumer’s response:

“There ought to be a thorough investigation. The good news there is. The eastern district of New York, one of the prime U.S offices in the country is looking into this, very carefully. And just last night, our senate finance committee said they are going to look at nursing home deaths and why they occurred, and what went wrong. Across the country, it’s happened across the country but, certainly in New  York. And we gotta find out what went wrong, and then take action so it can never happen again. It was horrible. “

Sunny Hostin asks on The View March 11, 2021:

“Multiple women, including former employees have also made sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior conduct accusations against Governor Cuomo. He has pledged to cooperate with the New York Attorney General’s independent investigation and he has made it clear that he’s not resigning but he did apologize if his behavior made anyone uncomfortable, is that enough? Also, there are rumors that there’s politics being played in the background of this issue, can you address that?”

Chuck Schumer’s response:

“The allegations of these women are very very troubling. The one last night was particularly nauseating. They all must be looked into. I’ve always strongly been against sexual harassment. It cannot, cannot be tolerated. And it’s been with us too long and too many instances. Now, early on, I called for NY State Attorney General, a woman named Tish James, who is a very strong, smart and really independent woman to conduct an investigation. She’s now doing it. I believe she will turn over every stone. She has subpoena power both for documents and individuals can subpoena anybody to come before her. And I believe and answer to your question, knowing her, there will be no outside interference, and no political interference. I have faith in her.” 

Chuck Schumer’s response to sexual accusations against President Joe Biden on May 12, 2020:

“Before the MeToo movement, women were not listened to. Who were telling what had happened to them. Since MeToo, women are listened to. Now I heard Joe BIden’s explanation, I think it’s sufficient, I think he will be a great candidate, I think he will be a great president and help us take back the senate.”

Tara Reade, one of the eight women who came forward in 2019, citing Joe Biden “touched her in ways that made her feel uncomfortable while she worked in his senate office in 1993,” and later admitted in March 2020, Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993. The media, including The New York Times, and Washington post, quickly dismissed her story.

Reade published an Op-Ed on March 9th, 2021 via RT, stating:

“The New York Times and Washington Post among other media outlets provided my public flogging for daring to speak out; my truth about the beloved Democrat, the elite Joe Biden, was quickly dismissed.” 

Reade’s story remains dismissed on mainstream media as the focus is against Governor Andrew Cuomo.

As mentioned, Tara Reade, isn’t the only woman who came forward accusing President Biden of sexual misconduct. There were at least eight. At least Twenty-six women came forward accusing former President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, including assault and rape. You can view Trump’s infamous “grab em by the…” video and transcript via The BBC.  Donald Trump fulfilled his first presidential term. President Biden remains in office.

Lindsey Boylan, the first woman who has come forward accusing Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, has mix Twitter responses, including putting those on a “greatest hit list” who question or disagree with her accusations.

Schumer has since praised President Joe Biden:

Schumer has also joined congressional Democrats’ call for Cuomo to resign.

According to Dutchessny, the procedure to report a death in the state of NY requires the following information:

“If the death occurs in a hospital or nursing facility, a Medical Examiner Death Investigator will call the person reporting the death.  The Investigator will request information including:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Home address
  • Next of kin
  • Date and time of death
  • Medical history
  • Circumstances of death”

Nursing Homes and those living in an assisted living facility have historically experienced physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. For more information on these statistics, log into Nursing Homes Abuse

In the wake of COVID-19, Statista reported in October 2020 with Massachusetts ranking the highest in Nursing Homes. There is a Nursing Homes and Long Term Facilities tracker, which you can find here. During the wake of COVID-19, before knowing the effectiveness of masks, and asymptomatic could cause a spread, there are discrimination laws protecting employees and patients. There is also a law, stating, if the facility doesn’t have the proper equipment to take care of the patient, they have the right to say no. 

Before COVID, Nursing Home facilities would reject the patient and send them to the hospital

“According to law, if a nursing home can’t meet a resident’s medical needs, the nursing home staff should call the state department of health and senior services. But it’s quicker and cheaper (for the nursing home) to simply dump the patient on the hospital.

Nursing facilities have even told a hospital that a patient could not return because his or her cost of care was higher than the state Medicaid rate. And the nursing homes complain that they have too many of these types of residents already—if they keep every difficult low-income case, they will go broke.”

According to the same 2016 article noted directly above from My American Nurse, specifically stated a transfer or discharge is necessary if the resident’s needs cannot be met in the facility. 

Nursing Homes had the right to discharge or transfer patients for a number of reasons.

By LAW:

Facility requirements – (i) The facility must permit each resident to remain in the facility, and not transfer or discharge the resident from the facility unless –

(A) The transfer or discharge is necessary for the resident’s welfare and the resident’s needs cannot be met in the facility;

(B) The transfer or discharge is appropriate because the resident’s health has improved sufficiently so the resident no longer needs the services provided by the facility;

(C) The safety of individuals in the facility is endangered due to the clinical or behavioral status of the resident;

(D) The health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered

Nursing Homes and long term care, and assisted living facilities have been a global issue. You can read the dismal Italy is faced with based on a December, 2020 article here

March 5, 2021 Statement from Beth Garvey, Special Counsel to the Governor:

“It has been reported that this administration did not disclose the fact that additional data existed regarding out of facility deaths. To be clear, multiple times during the time the July 6 DOH report was being developed, public statements were made during the daily briefings and in the press regarding the existence of the data, but noting that the deaths were being counted in the facility where individuals died.  There were repeated public statements acknowledging the out of facility deaths were not being listed as a subset of nursing home deaths stemming from concerns related to potential for double counting and consistency and accuracy.  

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.  After asking DOH questions as to the source of the previously unpublished data — to which there were not clear or complete answers  — and probing to determine whether it was relevant to the outcome of the report, a decision was made to use the data set that was reported by the place of death with firsthand knowledge of the circumstances, which gave a higher degree of comfort in its accuracy.  The Chamber concluded that given the uncertainty of one data set that had not been verified, it did not need to be included, because it did not change the ultimate conclusions, as shown in the revised report which did include that additional data.  DOH has repeatedly said they support both the original and revised reports as issued.  

This decision was only made after determining that it didn’t change the outcome, and that we understood that the same conclusions were supported by both data sets. The methodology used was disclosed in the report and reflected that it was specific to in-facility, as our public data had always shown as well.     

The out of facility data was repeatedly discussed in public briefings and we consistently acknowledged those deaths were being counted in the total death count through the place of death data.  There is no credible claim that the public or legislators did not know there was a subset of out of facility deaths that had been reported to DOH but was not yet disclosed as it had not yet been verified as this was the topic of public press briefings and inquiries (see below).  

There is currently a review by the Department of Justice, and we are cooperating fully with that inquiry. Again, there was no undercount, as total deaths irrespective of location were always disclosed, and the methodology of how data was being presented was accurate.   

The report was intended to detail whether the March 25 advisory memo contributed to increased deaths, and not be a full accounting of every death. We have since updated the report, and it now includes out of facility deaths, with the exception of a limited subset which cannot be confirmed to a sufficient degree of reliability, and that is clearly denoted — the updated report supports the same conclusion of the initial July report.”  

EXAMPLES OF PAST STATEMENTS BELOW:   

May 2020

  • 5/5/20: (Press Conference Q+A) – Reporter: Governor, can you comment on, it looks like there’s some new reporting regarding nursing homes and it would increase the total by about 1,700 in terms of total deaths. Does that count towards the official tally? Are they in a different category? How is that being reported out?
  • Governor Cuomo: You have, I’ll ask Jim and Melissa to explain this because I don’t know the details, frankly. You have two categories – confirmed deaths and then probable or presumed deaths, and they list numbers in both categories. Some people combine the two, confirmed deaths and presumed deaths and have one number. Some people keep them separate and then they are often reported separately or they’re reported together. But that has been going on for a while, but Jim is there, is that accurate?
  • Jim Malatras: That’s accurate, Governor. We reported the past, we asked the nursing homes to provide updated information. They originally provided about 3,100 total deaths. The confirmed deaths of those are actually 2,100. That gets added to the official count. We’re counting both the presumed and confirmed. But the confirmed deaths are the ones we’re running in the official tally. Other localities are submitting unconfirmed deaths but we want to confirm those things as much as we can. But now we’re putting up both categories so people can clearly see because some of the cities are reporting both together and it was difficult to tease out. So we’ve asked them the report clearly that line of both confirmed and presumed.
  • Question: [inaudible] Isabella Geriatric Center which is something we drew attention to this week, they issued a statement saying there have been 98 deaths but the official reporting shows less than that, something in the 60s. That does that not count hospital deaths. In other words someone goes from the facility to a hospital is that then counted differently?
  • Jim Malatras: Those get reported in the hospitalization deaths. The Isabella situation, they reported 60 but in actuality it’s 21 confirmed deaths and the remaining being presumed which we’ll have to officially try to confirm one way or another. So it is in line with keeping with what they were sending before, but we’ve asked those facilities to update which they have.
  • Governor Cuomo: In fact just to just to be clear I would take all of these numbers now with a grain of salt. We were just saying the confirmed deaths, you know what that means. What does a presumed death mean, right? We presume it. How do you presume it to be coronavirus? Also the at-home deaths, non-hospital, non-nursing-home deaths, just at-home deaths, when do you actually get all the numbers on those and how do you confirm all those deaths as attributed to coronavirus? So I would caveat with all of these. I think they’re going to change over time. 

May 23, 2020 – The City 

It’s unclear how many of the veterans died of confirmed or presumed COVID-19. The state Health Department says 35 residents there had died of coronavirus-related causes through May 22.  But that figure doesn’t include residents who died at hospitals — which health officials said are reported solely in the overall tally of state COVID deaths, in part to avoid double-counting. 

https://www.thecity.nyc/coronavirus/2020/5/23/21270845/remember-their-names-nyc-veterans-nursing-home-staff-leaks-list-of-48-who-died

May 28, 2020 – NY1 

Initially, the state only counted residents who tested positive for COVID-19 and died at the facility.  Then it added to the tally residents who only had a suspected case and died. Butthe state is not including in these figures adult care facility residents who were transferred to a hospital and died of the coronavirus there. The Health Department says that’s “to maintain consistency and reliability in the data as presented, and to avoid any potential for double-counting.”

https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2020/05/28/extent-of-coronavirus-carnage-in-new-york-nursing-homes-may-never-be-known

July 6 report – page 11 Figure 2 lays out the data used for the analysis, saying specifically: “Confirmed and presumed fatalities, NH population only in Nursing Home facilities”

FROM PUBLIC HEARING AUGUST 3, 2020:

DR. HOWARD ZUCKER: — no, I was going to say, we had — we reported it as someone who’s died in the hospital. [Indiscernible] the nursing home, they went to the hospital, they died in the hospital. We reported as they came from the hospital. We then started to ask, and we tried to get information about who died in the nursing homes. And we started reporting that as getting information from the nursing homes. And we do not want — as I mentioned before, we don’t want to double-count and say this person died here and also died there. 

DR. HOWARD ZUCKER: Well, and what I’m saying is, is that, that information, I want to be sure that we are not double-counting individuals, that someone didn’t die for a different reason because — so that’s what we’re trying to do. If someone goes into the hospital from a nursing home, and then they die, or, they — or — and they’re sick in the hospital, and someone says, well, they died because of COVID, well, maybe they died because of something else. I mean, this is something which I mentioned about earlier, about pneumonia. Right? The presumption by CDC was that, they died, the 27 percent of people dying in those two months, was because of pneumonia. And as the director of the CDC said, “presumed to be coronavirus.” Right? But what I want to know is exactly, when someone dies in the hospital, what did they die from? 

ASSEMBLY MEMBER BRAUNSTEIN: I think a lot of us may reserve judgment about the conclusions of the report until we have an accurate view of all of the data. And we’re missing a significant amount of people who contracted COVID in a nursing home and then later died in a hospital. And I just think it would bolster the conclusions of the report if, at some point in the future, when you do have that data, maybe you can, you know, add it in the report, just to, you know, make sure that this report is accurate.   

DR. HOWARD ZUCKER: I am confident about the data. I hear what you’re saying. I will also say that in that report you will see that there is a curve that shows the deaths from the nursing homes and deaths in the community, and they line up. AndI suspect — not suspect — that I know that this will be the same.   

GARETH RHODES: And I will just add, we’re updating this report down the road. We can include what the experience of other states has been. Then this report came out, and I quote the Mary Mayhew, the Florida Agency for Health-Care Administration: [Indiscernible] doors to keep that virus from getting to our facilities. Our staff are human beings who have lives outside of these facilities. Nursing home operator in Florida: The overwhelming majority of our staff members were testing positive or asymptomatic. An indigenous virus is very difficult to detect after the testing. So it happened in other states.”

March 4, 2021 Statements From Department of Health Spokesman Gary Holmes and Special Counsel to the Governor Beth Garvey in Response to the New York Times Story on Nursing Homes:

Statement from Department of Health Spokesman Gary Holmes:    

“This report, which establishes that the March 25 advisory was not a driver of nursing home deaths, was a collaborative process between DOH and the COVID task force. The report’s purpose was to ensure the public had a clear non-political evaluation for how COVID entered nursing homes at the height of the pandemic.  All data sets reviewed came to a common conclusion – that spread from staff was likely the primary driver that introduced COVID into these nursing homes. While early versions of the report included out of facility deaths, the COVID task force was not satisfied that the data had been verified against hospital data and so the final report used only data for in facility deaths, which was disclosed in the report. While the out of facility deaths were held aside for verification, the conclusions were supported by both data sets.  DOH was comfortable with the final report and believes fully in its conclusion that the primary driver that introduced COVID into the nursing homes was spread brought in by staff. Even Bill Hammond of the conservative think tank Empire Center found that the March 25 advisory was not a primary driver of COVID in nursing homes.  The decision was made to initially release the report without the out of facility data and to later update the report to include the out of facility deaths. This was done in February and as Dr Zucker had testified to the legislature, the conclusions remained the same as in July.” 

Statement from Beth Garvey, Special Counsel and Senior Advisor to the Governor:  

“The out of facility data was omitted after DOH could not confirm it had been adequately verified – this did not change the conclusion of the report, which was and is that the March 25 order was ‘not a driver of nursing home infections or fatalities.’   

“COVID Task Force officials did not request that the report conclude the March 25 order played no role; in fact Task Force Members, knowing the report needed to withstand rigorous public scrutiny were very cautious to not overstate the statistical analysis presented in the report. Overall, ensuring public confidence in the conclusion was the ultimate goal of DOH and the COVID Task Force in issuing the report.”

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