Washingtonville, NY — (05/06/2020) Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt (R,C,I-New Windsor) has sent a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Inspector General for Investigations requesting an independent federal investigation into COVID-19 related deaths and New York State nursing homes.
This follows news of dramatically unreported COVID-19 fatality numbers from state nursing homes and state mandates that nursing homes take COVID-19 positive patients. It is evident that the order from the State to accept these patients and additional practices, protocols and requirements may have increased the spread of COVID-19 amongst our senior citizen and vulnerable populations.
New York State authorities will not be fair and impartial in investigating this developing scandal and the expertise and independence of the HHS Inspector General’s office is needed.
Full text of the letter:
Deputy Inspector General for Investigations
Office of Investigations
US Department of Health and Human Services
Dear Mr. Cantrell:
I write to formally request an independent federal investigation by your office into COVID-19 related deaths at New York State nursing homes.
Yesterday it was announced at least an additional 1,700 COVID-19 fatalities are linked to state nursing homes.
This news follows confirmation that New York State required nursing homes to take COVID-19 positive patients ensuring an even more rapid spread of the illness amongst our senior citizen and vulnerable populations.
It is my strong belief that New York State authorities will not be fair and impartial in investigating and reviewing all facts related to this devastating developing scandal. We must know if New York State’s mandate that nursing homes take COVID-19 positive patients resulted in more deaths. We must also know if New York State or other government entities practices, protocols and requirements increased the spread of COVID-19 through these facilities resulting in increased deaths. Families also deserve to have a true independent accounting and confirmation on the number of COVID-19 fatalities and cases in New York State nursing homes.
The expertise of your office and its independence from New York State authorities provides the credibility needed to render a fair and impartial investigation and ensure justice will be served if necessary based on findings.
If we can be of any assistance in this matter please do not hesitate to contact my office at 845-469-6929 or [email protected].
Colin J. Schmitt
Member of Assembly