New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker is stepping down. Worked with Cuomo to force COVID patients back into nursing homes.
FOX News reported that New York Governor Hochul has announced that state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker will step down from his post soon.
The shake-up in Albany began hours after the Friday announcement that Amit Singh Bagga, who unsuccessfully sought to represent the 26th City Council District earlier this year, had been appointed Hochul’s deputy secretary for intergovernmental affairs.
It also comes one day after Hochul announced that state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker would step down from his post as soon as a replacement could be found.
Zucker, who had been in his position since 2015, was accused by critics of helping Cuomo minimize and disguise the terrible toll of COVID-19 in nursing homes across the state. It was he who issued the infamous March 2020 order that required nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive residents returning from hospitals, provided they were not critically ill. Zucker also barred nursing homes from testing the returning residents for the virusThat order was quietly withdrawn in May of last year, but family members of those who died in long-term care facilities said the damage had been done by then.
Under Zucker’s watch, the Health Department provided incomplete tallies of coronavirus death counts from nursing homes for months, by refusing to release the tallies of residents who later died in nursing homes. The Cuomo administration only released the complete figures after state Attorney General Letitia James released a report saying the Health Department’s count likely understated COVID-linked deaths at nursing home facilities by 50 percent.
Zucker’s incomplete counts obscured the connection between 1,900 COVID deaths and nursing homes in New York City alone.
We’ve reported on Zucker for more than a year. We were first to report that Zucker and Cuomo forced patients not only on elderly homes but also on adult care facilities and group homes for people with disabilities.
Zucker also was covering up for their misdeeds months after they took place.