“After an unexplained three-week delay, today’s budget hearing might provide a better picture of what happened in state nursing homes during the COVID-19 outbreak. But it is only the beginning of what the Legislature should require from Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.
Today’s format is designed to review the public health components of the Executive Budget proposals. In no way is this the proper forum to fully address all we have learned about the state’s response to COVID-19 and subsequent cover-up of nursing home fatalities. In previous public forums, Dr. Zucker has been evasive and his testimony has been brief. There’s little reason to expect anything different today.
We need legislative hearings, with multiple witnesses, sworn statements and testimony compelled by subpoena. This is the only way to truly satisfy the numerous questions surrounding the Cuomo Administration’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Anything shy of that is a disservice to the people we represent and the thousands of families who are still searching for accountability."