Web Stories Friday, March 1

Former state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker will be hauled in front of Congress next week to answer questions about the state’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Zucker will sit Monday for a closed-door, transcribed interview with members of the House’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

As former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health czar, Zucker was responsible for a March 2020 order which forced Empire State nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive residents returning from hospitals.

Zucker also forbade nursing homes from testing the returning residents for the virus.

The virus was especially deadly for the elderly, and the order potentially caused 1,000 additional nursing-home deaths, according to an analysis from The Empire Center, a conservative-leaning think tank.

Former New York iuty Health Czar Howard Zucker will face questions from Congress next week Hans Pennink

“Howard Zucker had a role in crafting that policy for Governor Cuomo,” said Staten Island GOP Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, the only New Yorker on the committee. “We want to know what he knows in terms of what led to the [order] and why — when they had alternative options such the US Navy Comfort ship and South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island — they continued to mandate these nursing homes take COVID patients.

“I would like to know what was the difference in reimbursements for individuals put in hospitals versus nursing homes,” Malliotakis continued. “Did that financial decision play a role?”

Zucker faced no real consequences for the disastrous decision and in January he was appointed deputy director for global health at the Centers for Disease Control by the Biden administration.

Coronavirus was particularly devastating to the elderly. AP
Howard Zucker was responsible for the state order which sent covid patients to nursing homes Annie Wermiel/NY Post

“If Dr. Zucker finally wants to tell the truth about his involvement in this reckless mandate, then we welcome his appearance, but unfortunately he has never been transparent or honest in the past so this may be a waste of time,” said Janice Dean, a Fox News meteorologist and advocate for COVID victims. “I pray his conscience has gotten the better of him and he’s ready to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Our families deserve that.”

Zucker declined to comment.

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