Hawley, Assembly GOP want DOH commissioner to testify on nursing home deaths

Posted 11 February 2021 at 12:50 pm

Press Release, Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined his colleagues in the Assembly Minority in a press conference calling on members of the Assembly Oversight, Health and Aging committees to sign a petition that would trigger the delivery of a subpoena to New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard A. Zucker to testify and provide all data on nursing home deaths occurring during the pandemic.

The subpoena would also request all communications from the Department of Health (DOH) and other parties that led to the decision to develop, implement and override its March 25 directive, and allow Zucker to provide answers as to why this information was kept from the Legislature and public for such a long period of time.

According to Section 62-A of Legislative Law, if a majority of members on a given committee sign a petition, they then have the authority to issue a subpoena for the individual in question to appear before the committee to answer questions. Hawley has sought for months to hold legislative hearings in which Dr. Howard Zucker would be compelled to answer questions regarding the thousands of deaths in New York nursing homes during the Covid-19 pandemic and about the attempts that followed to cover up the severity of the tragedy.

“Given the sheer tragedy of this situation, I am hopeful my colleagues in the Majority on this committee will do what’s right as human beings and compel Commissioner Zucker to provide the answers grieving families have waited far too long for,” said Hawley. “If our governor’s own attorney general was able to put aside their partisanship for the sake of truth and justice, I can only hope those in the Majority on these committees will also put their humanity before their politics.”