The state Health Department intentionally “misled the public” regarding the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes under former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, according to a scathing audit from the Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
When the COVID-19 pandemic swept through New York, the Department of Health was not prepared to respond to the infectious disease outbreaks in nursing homes, according to the audit, which helped lead to the inaccurate virus-related death count in facilities.
Auditors found that health officials undercounted the death toll in nursing homes by at least 4,100 residents and at times more than 50 percent, despite claims from the former governor, who said the state was doing well in protecting seniors.
A New York woman is facing prison time after admitting that she hid her mother’s death for years in order to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in her teacher pension benefits.
Long Island resident Cynthia Rozzell, of Hempstead, pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny on Tuesday, Aug. 9.
Prosecutors said Rozzell concealed the death of her mother, Mary Garrett, and collected pension benefits issued to Garrett by the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) between May 2014 and May 2020.
“Pension theft is not a victimless crime,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “By stealing her deceased mother’s pension benefits, Ms. Rozzell dishonored countless hardworking New Yorkers who have dedicated their lives to one of our most noble professions: teaching and enriching our youth.”
Eight residents of a Connecticut nursing home have died during a COVID-19 outbreak that has lasted nearly six weeks.
A total of 89 employees and residents have tested positive since the outbreak began at the Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located in Litchfield County, in the Town of Canaan, on Thursday, Sept. 30.
“Despite seeing significant numbers of residents recovering from Covid,” the facility’s chief executive Kevin O’Connell and nursing director Cady Bloodgood said in a statement. “testing has resulted in one additional positive case among fully vaccinated residents and staff members. Sadly, we have lost eight residents with serious underlying health issues to Covid.”
With pressure coming from both sides of the aisle into investigating New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has vowed sweeping reform as part of the 30-day amendments.
Cuomo announced reforms to improve the health, quality of life, and safety of nursing home residents to ensure that “facilities prioritize patient care over profits.”
“You can’t say to a nursing home that ‘either you can buy new beds, or you can make more money,’ ” Cuomo said during a COVID-19 briefing on Friday, Feb. 19. “It’s not a matter of hiring more staff or helping people or making more money.
Westchester is making progress on administering the COVID-19 vaccination, County Executive George Latimer said, citing a decreasing number of hospitalizations and active cases.
There are currently 6,602 active COVID-19 cases being monitored in Westchester, Latimer announced on Tuesday, Feb. 16, down from 7,353 late last week and more than 11,000 cases three weeks ago, representing an approximately 40 percent drop in the past month.
In his first public comments on a top aide’s admission that his administration “froze” when asked by both federal and state officials to release data on COVID-19 nursing home fatalities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the lack of transparency was a mistake.
Cuomo said “there was a delay,” in reporting the data, and that void led to “skepticism, cynicism and conspiracy theories which furthered confusion” in a news briefing held in Albany on Monday, Feb. 15.
“We should have provided more information faster,” Cuomo said. “We were too focused on doing the job and addressing the crisis of the moment. I take total responsibility for that.”
New York State Senate Republicans, and now, a growing number of Democratic Senators, are seeking a special session in an effort to remove Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers in the wake of the report into the underreporting of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes statewide.
Senate Republican Leader Robert Ortt and members of the Republican Conference called on the Senate Majority to convene a special session and strip Cuomo of his emergency powers while calling for a thorough investigation into his administration. They were later joined by 14 Democratic senators.
“This administration has shown a callous disregard for these vulnerable residents and their families for months, but this stunning admission is a horrific new low,” she said. “A full, independent investigation into the state’s handling of the COVID crisis in New York’s nursing homes needs to be launched immediately and any lawmaker who is not actively working to make that happen is complicit in the cover-up—period.”
A hedge fund founder admitted to bankruptcy fraud for abusing his position on a Neiman Marcus Group Inc. bankruptcy committee to purchase securities at a deflated price.
Nassau County resident Daniel Kamensky, of Roslyn, the founder of the New York-based hedge fund Marble Ridge Capital pleaded guilty to pressuring a rival bidder to abandon its higher bid for assets in connection with Neiman Marcus’s bankruptcy proceedings.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said that Kamensky was the principal of Marble Ridgewhich had assets under management of more than $1 billion that invested in securities in distressed situations, including bankruptcies. Prior to opening Marble Ridge, Kamensky worked for many years as a bankruptcy attorney at a well-known international law firm, and as a distressed debt investor at prominent financial institutions.
As temperatures rise and humidity falls, the study’s authors, from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, said they expect another improvement in COVID-19 infection rates.
Applying this theory, they found that COVID-19 transmission rates varied in the northern and southern hemispheres depending on the time of year, thus pointing to a weather dependence.
Typical disease transmission studies only consider transmission and recovery rates, the study noted. Researchers argued that weather and climate – temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed – should also be factored into predicting how the virus will spread.
Three states have emerged as national hotspots for the spread of the COVID-19 virus, according to new data.
When new COVID-19 incident rates per 100,000 people were compared nationally, Arizona, South Carolina, and California were revealed to be the states with the highest risk for the transmission of COVID-19.