The U.S. Justice Department vastly expanded an inquiry Wednesday that could determine whether New York is undercounting coronavirus deaths among nursing home residents, demanding detailed data from hundreds of private facilities.
The demand ratchets up pressure on Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo after months of bipartisan criticism the state’s official tally of 6,722 dead at long-term care facilities is probably off by thousands. That is because New York, unlike nearly every other state, counts only residents who died on a nursing home’s property and not those who died after being taken to a hospital.
Cuomo’s administration has repeatedly refused to release such nursing home data to lawmakers and the media, including a public-records request from The Associated Press dating back to May.
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