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.
In nursing homes that complied with the order, residents swiftly began dying. By the end of the pandemic, 15% of the state’s nursing home residents were dead.
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.”
New York’s Health Department not only caused the deaths of thousands of people, it tried to cover it up by listing only those who died inside facilities, not those who died after being taken to a hospital. Zucker was aware of the real numbers, but their release was blocked for months to protect Cuomo. It finally took a lawsuit and a judicial order to release and expose the information.
Cuomo aides rewrote Health Department reports to make their boss look good. A Cuomo aide later admitted that the numbers had been kept hidden over fears of a Justice Department investigation into the state’s nursing home deaths.
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.
At a legislative session, Zucker argued that the virus “was inadvertently brought into the nursing homes” and that it happened because “we did not know enough about the science”. The “science” behind respiratory viruses infecting people that they are in close contact with has been known long before Zucker was born.
The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office opened an investigation into the release of false nursing home deaths numbers. FBI agents interviewed top Health Department officials which doubtlessly would have included Dr. Howard Zucker.
During a State Senate hearing, Zucker refused to answer questions by claiming that he could not talk about it because it was the subject of a federal investigation.
29 days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo was forced to resign, his health commissioner followed him out the door.
Attorney General Letita James described it as, “the end of a difficult chapter for our state.”
While Gov. Hochul corruptly praised Zucker, Senator Gustavo Rivera, a Democrat who had fought for accountability over the pandemic deaths, stated that, “his resignation is warranted and another step towards ensuring we hold those who neglected their duties under the Cuomo administration accountable.”
The Empire Center, whose litigation forcing the release of the nursing home death numbers helped lead to the investigation, described Zucker as leaving “marred by scandal over his role in managing the coronavirus pandemic.”
With a record like that, where could Dr. Howard Zucker get a job?
Zucker had been joined at the hip to a disgraced governor ousted over his misconduct. He had been at the epicenter of what elected officials and even the media had called a cover-up and that had resulted in an FBI investigation.
But Zucker did not stay unemployed for long. He was hired on as Chief Medical Officer at Color Health, a company that had specialized in COVID tests, did some teaching at local universities and then became a Deputy Director at the CDC.
Zucker now wields “broad operating authority and responsibility for overall planning, direction, and management of global strategy and programs across CDC”.
The bio reduces Zucker’s role in the pandemic to one word: sandwiched between “many public health crises” including Ebola, Zika, COVID-19, measles, AIDS and “e-cigarette contamination”. There is no mention of nursing home deaths or FBI investigations. COVID-19 now occupies eight characters in Zucker’s extensive bio somewhere between measles and e-cigarettes. Like the thousands of dead nursing home residents, the COVID part of Zucker’s background was buried.
Zucker is not the only former state health director who shoved infected patients into nursing homes to get a second chance from the Biden administration.
Pennsylvania’s Dr. Richard Levine also oversaw an order that forced nursing homes to accept COVID infected patients. Meanwhile, Levine took his own mother out of a nursing home. Over 2,500 nursing home patients died in the state.
Biden made Levine his Assistant Secretary for Health and an admiral. Levine has gotten far more attention for claiming to be a woman named Rachel and lecturing on the importance of transgenderizing children than for the deaths of 2,529 human beings.
Robert Gordon, the head of Michigan’s Department of Health & Human Services, where infected patients were also forced into nursing homes, has become the Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services.
During a hearing, Gordon claimed that putting infected patients into nursing homes actually “reduced deaths”. He argued that the state was unprepared because “the president and the White House concealed information about the level of risk posed by coronavirus.”
Michigan’s Office of the Auditor General conducted an audit that found that there were actually 8,061 COVID nursing home deaths: thousands more than the official numbers that had come out of the state’s health department.
The men who oversaw the policies that infected and killed nursing home patients not only suffered no consequences for their actions, but received promotions that took them from presiding over state health agencies to national ones.
The mini-Faucis of the state have stepped into Fauci’s place.
The Biden administration’s health bureaucracy is overseen by the state health directors who filled cemeteries with dead elders. And even those, like Zucker, who lost their jobs, have found better ones working for Joe Biden. No amount of scandals, shame or outrage has kept them from the pinnacle of the public health bureaucracy where they can do to the country what they did to a few states.