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Lawmakers demand independent review of New York’s COVID-19 response

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  • Staff Report 

At the New York State Capitol, Republicans and families of those who died in nursing homes during the pandemic urged for the release of an independent report on the state’s handling of COVID-19. They emphasized the need for accountability and lessons to prevent future tragedies, highlighting that over $4 million was spent on the comprehensive review which remains unpublished. State Senator Patrick Gallivan criticized the delay, insisting that the legislature and New York taxpayers deserved the promised insights.

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay emphasized the importance of accountability for the deaths of potentially more than 15,000 individuals in nursing homes, advocating for clear recommendations to avoid repeating the same mistakes. The call for transparency and reflection on the state’s pandemic policies aims to ensure better preparedness for future health crises.

In response to inquiries about the review, New York State Health Commissioner James McDonald and a spokesperson defended the Department of Health’s actions during the pandemic, stressing their commitment to learning from the experience. Despite significant investments in healthcare following the pandemic, lawmakers and the public are still awaiting the review for a thorough understanding and accountability. Governor Hochul’s office has yet to respond to requests for an update on the independent report.