Federal authorities -including the FBI and at least one US attorney- are reportedly probing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s botched handling of the Big Apple’s CoVID data in local nursing homes.
“The investigation is not yet far along and is focused on top members of Cuomo’s coronavirus task force, the Albany Times-Union reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter. Neither Cuomo nor any administration official has at this point been accused of any wrongdoing,” reports Fox News.
“Members of Cuomo’s task force include New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa. The latter drew scrutiny this month after she seemingly admitted the governor’s team withheld information related to COVID-19-related deaths at nursing homes,” adds Fox.
The FBI and the Brooklyn federal prosecutor’s office have opened an investigation into @NYGovCuomo's handling of nursing homes and nursing home death data during the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple reports. https://t.co/uOIhxdtEGT
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 18, 2021
ABC NEWS: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo under investigation for nursing home deaths
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) February 18, 2021
“As we publicly said, DOJ has been looking into this for months. We have been cooperating with them and we will continue to,” Cuomo senior advisor Rich Azzopardi said in a statement.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
BIG APPLE BACKLASH: Poll Shows Majority Disapprove of Cuomo’s Handling of Nursing Home Fiasco
From Fox New:
A majority of New Yorkers disapprove of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of reporting nursing home deaths amid continuing controversy over an alleged cover-up by his administration — although overall approval of his handling of the pandemic remains high.
The Siena College poll of New York state voters found that only 39% approved of his handling of making public data related to nursing home deaths while 55% disapprove.
Cuomo has been under fire for his handling of nursing homes in the early days of the pandemic — specifically a March 25 order that required nursing homes to take in COVID patients. But the controversy exploded last week after it emerged that a top Cuomo aide told Democrats that the administration “froze” amid an investigation from the Justice Department.
“Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” aide Melissa DeRosa said in remarks first reported by the New York Post.
Those remarks came after a damning report by state Attorney General Letitia James that found the state undercounted nursing home deaths by as much as 50%.
The poll was conducted between Feb 7-11, so mostly before the Post’s story dropped on Feb. 11, but after the dropping of the report by the Attorney General’s office.
However, the new Siena poll shows that, despite the controversy over the nursing home data, Cuomo’s approval ratings on the pandemic more broadly remain solid in the Empire State. The poll found that voters approve of his handling 61-34, down only slightly from 63-32 last month. Voters also approved of Cuomo’s communication (67%) and providing accurate information (61%.)
Read the full report here.
BUSTED in the BIG APPLE: Top Cuomo Aide Says Governor Hid Nursing Home Facts from Feds, Media
A senior aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo now claims the New York Leader intentionally concealed facts regarding nursing home fatalities and CoVID from federal authorities and the media in the early days of the pandemic.
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19 — telling them “we froze” out of fear that the true numbers would ‘be used against us’ by federal prosecutors,” reports the New York Post.
“The stunning admission of a coverup was made by secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because ‘right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,’ according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting,” adds the newspaper.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 12, 2021
“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa said. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”
“And basically, we froze,” she told the lawmakers.
Read the full report at the New York Post.