Connect with us

News

Hochul broke her promise to all the families grieving from deaths at COVID nursing home

Gov. Hochul broke a promise to investigate the nursing home crisis and has ignored families who are grieving.

Published

on

Governor Kathy Hochul of New York met with mourning families who lost loved ones in nursing facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak in October 2021.

I was there with my husband Sean, whose parents, Mickey and Dee, were two of the roughly 15,000 elderly people who perished after getting the virus in their long-term care institutions.

I recall being hopeful that if she heard our tales and personally witnessed our suffering, she would assist us in finding solutions. On the meeting day, she listened to what we had to say, expressed her sorrow, and vowed to be completely open with us as we attempted to understand what had transpired in the spring of 2020.

ZELDIN TOUTS HE’S THE GOP CANDIDATE WHO CAN DEFEAT DEMOCRATIC GOV. HOCHUL IN NOVEMBER IN THE NY PRIMARY SHOWDOWN

Advertisement

Back then, I trusted her.

But more than two years have passed, and we’re still baffled as to why Andrew Cuomo and the New York Health Department summoned nearly 9,000 COVID-19 positive people to their homes without informing our families.

The administration never accepted accountability for its careless actions and attempted cover-up of the death toll. There is now substantial proof that Cuomo withheld those figures on purpose in order to profit from a $5 million book he was writing about pandemic leadership.

Hochul listened sympathetically as my husband Sean described the agony of losing both of his parents two weeks apart and being unable to visit or console them.

Advertisement

My friends Peter and Daniel Arbeeny gave Hochul a copy of their father’s death certificate and questioned him about why he wasn’t included in the exaggerated number of deaths in nursing homes.

After our discussion, I remarked that deeds would speak louder than words, and over a year later, we have seen nothing to suggest Hochul has been true to her word regarding her support for mourning families.

As a longtime Democrat, Peter frequently ponders whether we would “still be here two years later waiting for the Democratic machine to commence an investigation with subpoena power” if Cuomo were a Republican.

The New York Post, Daily News, and Times Union have all published editorials this week questioning why Hochul is taking so long to convene her promised “blue ribbon group” to examine all the “good, bad, and ugly decisions that were taken during the pandemic here in New York.”

Advertisement

Republican challenger for governor, Congressman Lee Zeldin, claims he believes Hochul expects “families would eventually walk away and forget about what happened to their loved ones; no longer demanding justice or accountability.”

Zeldin, however, pledges that if he wins, appointing a special prosecutor to look into and pursue any crimes involving the order and the cover-up will be one of his first objectives.

GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER BY CLICKING HERE

Sen. Sue Serino of New York State believes they have a responsibility to determine what went wrong during the epidemic to ensure that deadly mistakes are never repeated. Sen. Serino was one of the first legislators to speak out about how risky it was to accept infected people into nursing facilities. This administration has run out of justifications, she declared, for delaying a long-awaited pandemic study. The time is now to act honorably, keep the commitments made to the thousands of families affected by the state’s nursing facility policies, and provide them with the information and accountability they need.

Advertisement

However, he believes that this can’t just be a review by consultants that she chooses to write the report. Hochul’s meeting with mourning families last year was facilitated by my friend and fellow advocate New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim. He is still hopeful that she will keep her word. A “completely independent commission with subpoena and investigative powers” is required. This can’t be like the 2020 DOH report that the then-Governor Cuomo received and in which he was in charge of the facts and the story.

Families like mine are currently attempting to determine what we can accomplish alone. The approval of New York State Senate Bill S74A, often known as the “Grieving Families Act,” is one thing we’re hoping for. By making the emotional loss a factor in damage calculations, this measure would “assist in future litigation when a loved one’s life is wrongfully ended.”

The bill would also extend the deadline for filing a claim, enabling families to have their day in court. However, in order for the bill to become law, Gov. Hochul would also need to take action and sign it.

I wish I had more faith, but if history is any indication, the same woman who looked us in the eye and said she cared and wanted to assist has done nothing to date to convince us that she is who she says she is.

Advertisement

READ MORE FROM JANICE DEAN BY CLICKING HERE

Advertisement