House Panel Demands Answers On Nursing Home Deaths

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic last week sent a letter demanding answers from a former aid to then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on the state’s nursing home policies, The Hill reported.

In a December 11 letter to Melissa DeRosa, Chairman Brad Wenstrup and New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis said her previous responses to the committee claiming she was not involved in the state’s directive on placing COVID-positive patients in nursing homes were contradicted in passages in her new “tell-all” memoir.

In early December, the select committee had requested that DeRosa appear for a transcribed interview and provide documents regarding the directive.

Less than seven hours after the request, DeRosa’s attorney claimed that she had no relevant documents. However, in her memoir, “What’s Left Unsaid: My Life at the Center of Power, Politics & Crisis,” DeRosa wrote that she took “copious notes” during the pandemic knowing “the gravity of what we were living through.”

DeRosa’s attorney Greg Morvillo told The Hill in a statement that any notes DeRosa took “did not include anything related to nursing homes” and she did not have any official documents from her time working for the governor.

Morvillo described the select committee’s position as “factually wrong” and said any member of the committee who would read DeRosa’s book would know that the committee’s claims are “factually inaccurate.”

The select committee is investigating the pandemic-era policies in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania that required nursing homes to readmit COVID-positive patients who were recovering from the virus.

In New York State alone, over 15,000 nursing home residents died from COVID.

A review conducted by New York Attorney General Letitia James found that the state’s health department attempted to cover up the number of COVID deaths in nursing homes, under-reporting the deaths by as much as 50 percent.