New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s aides requested that state health department officials alter a COVID study to downplay the number of nursing home patients who died from the coronavirus, according to a new report.
Given that Cuomo published a book boasting about his leadership in the COVID pandemic, this development demonstrates just how pompous, arrogant, and hypocritical he is.
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A study written by state health officials had just arrived, and it contained a count of how many nursing home residents in New York had died in the pandemic, alarming aides to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The total, which had risen to more than 9,000 by June, was not made public, and the governor’s top aides wanted to keep it that way. According to interviews and records checked by The New York Times, they rewrote the article to remove it.
The unprecedented action, which occurred just as Mr. Cuomo was beginning to write a book about his pandemic accomplishments, was the governor’s first recorded act in what critics have described as a months-long campaign.
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Cuomo had edited the figures relating to nursing home deaths to cover up his bad handling of the pandemic, according to top help and Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, who told Democratic lawmakers during a meeting in February.
Cuomo’s aides were attempting to cover up a month earlier than previously believed, according to the latest article.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, one of the top aides who requested changes to the study, told Democratic lawmakers in February that the Cuomo administration purposefully undercounted the impact of COVID-19 on nursing home residents out of fear that the Trump administration will politicize the data and use it as a pretext to investigate.
In August, federal investigators started requesting data from states on nursing homes. According to the latest news, Cuomo’s aides were attempting to conceal the state’s nursing home data a month ago. Cuomo’s administration is currently being investigated by the FBI.
In January, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a report revealing that the Cuomo administration deliberately undercounted the number of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents in the state by about half. The Cuomo administration had only released the number of nursing home residents who died of the disease while in the facility, leaving out those who died after being moved to a hospital.
Cuomo has been chastised for months over an order issued on March 25, 2020, prohibiting nursing homes from turning away hospitalized residents and patients depending on whether or not they had COVID-19. Nursing home industry leaders blasted Cuomo at the time, claiming that the program would implement and spread the disease among New York’s elderly. Cuomo reversed the strategy in June, more than a month later.