Feeling marginalized, GOP holds own forum on nursing home deaths

State Sen. Patty Ritchie, pictured above, was one of dozens of state GOP lawmakers who on Monday held a public forum regarding COVID-19 deaths in Empire State nursing homes.

ALBANY — New York’s Republican lawmakers say they refuse to let the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo off the hook for “preventable” deaths related to the state’s policy regarding placement of COVID-19 patients in assisted care facilities.

In a public forum conducted virtually, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, and State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, on Monday hosted multiple fellow lawmakers and witnesses to speak about their experiences. Republicans claim the state’s policy of housing COVID-19 patients in nursing homes led to outbreaks — and fatal cases – that should have never happened.