Jensen: Our Residents Deserve Real Answers

A statement from Assemblyman Josh Jensen (R,C,I-Greece)

“The lack of transparency and accountability regarding our state’s handling of COVID-19 in our nursing homes and residential-care facilities has been frustrating and caused tremendous pain to those who have had family members who have passed away, often in isolation.

“Since taking office, I have stood with my colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference in calling for hearings to be held in order for the state Department of Health (DOH) to provide all data on nursing home deaths, all communications from the DOH that led to the March 25 directive to send COVID-19-positive patients back into nursing homes and the failure to share this information with the public and members the Legislature in a timely fashion.

“With last week’s New York Post article revealing that the administration purposely withheld information and data from lawmakers and the public out of fear of a federal investigation, it is evident we need an independent, impartial and objective analysis of the entire situation. By rescinding the governor’s emergency powers and treating the state legislature as a co-equal branch of government, we can take the necessary steps to get answers to the questions asked by our constituents.

“Let me be clear, this is not about politics. This is about getting answers for our fellow New Yorkers who lost loved ones in nursing homes or residential-care facilities, it’s about properly addressing this public health crisis, and it is about focusing on how we can move forward and learn from any mistakes that were made.

“We need a full accounting of what happened from the decision to craft and implement the March 25 directive to now. The only way we can prepare for a future pandemic is by knowing all the information and data, which is why we desperately need an independent investigation and/or legislative hearings to get all answers and information from our state’s top health officials. We need openness and honesty. It’s the very least our leaders can do and what those we serve demand.”