Biden CDC Official Was at Center of Cuomo Nursing Home Deaths Scandal

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June 7, 2023

Former New York governor Andrew Cuomo's (D.) health czar, who helped execute the pandemic nursing home orders that led to the deaths of thousands, is now working in the Biden administration's Centers for Disease Control.

Howard Zucker, the New York State health commissioner from 2015 to 2021, is now the deputy director for global health at the CDC, a position he started in January. In his former position, Zucker signed on to Cuomo's 2020 order that required nursing homes to admit sick COVID-19 patients, which may have contributed to thousands of deaths in nursing homes, according to a report from FrontPage Magazine. Zucker resigned in September 2021, weeks after Cuomo left office amid a state investigation into the governor over allegations of sexual harassment.

Zucker now works in Biden's CDC and has "broad operating authority and responsibility for overall planning, direction, and management of global strategy and programs across" the organization, according to his biography. It also notes that he "oversaw" the state of New York's response to the coronavirus.

A state audit in 2022 found Cuomo's administration hid the deaths of more than 4,000 seniors. A January 2021 report by state attorney general Letitia James (D.) found that Cuomo's government undercounted COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by 50 percent.

Zucker had an in-depth role in the plans surrounding sending sick patients back into nursing homes, FrontPage reported:

In March 2020, Dr. Howard Zucker had his name on the infamous ‘Cuomo Death Order’ that has been blamed for the deaths of thousands of nursing residents.

The New York State Health Department’s order stated that "no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission" to a nursing home "solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19." It even banned nursing homes from testing incoming patients to prevent cases from being detected.

Over 9,000 infected patients were sent into nursing homes and over 15,000 nursing home residents died. The outcome surprised no one. Christopher Laxton, the head of the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, noted that Cuomo and Zucker, "unaccountably failed to include clinical expertise in operational leadership when these policies were formed and we don’t know why."

Dr. Zucker was New York’s Fauci. He became the public face of Cuomo’s pandemic response and defended his actions and those of his boss. The Department of Health countered the outrage over its policies by releasing a report exonerating itself for the thousands of deaths that was shredded by epidemiologists, statisticians and health care professionals of all kinds.