New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during a press conference Monday blamed politics with no apology while admitting that his office should not have withheld data on COVID-19 nursing home deaths from state lawmakers, the public and the press.
The revelation that Cuomo’s office purposely withheld withheld information regarding nursing home deaths during a federal probe came to light last week during video conference call with Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and Democratic lawmakers last week.
“We froze,” DeRosa said, over whether to tell the truth to the Legislature, or the public, about nursing home deaths in light of a Justice Department inquiry.
The spineless governor Cuomo claimed that “there’s nothing to investigate” regarding the cover-up which DeRosa confessed during the call.
“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,” DeRosa said during the conference call.
Rather than owning any of it, Cuomo chose to blame politics.
“This past year, there is a toxic political environment and everything is political,” Cuomo said during the news conference.
“There is political positions and there are facts.”
Cuomo said that “lessons were learned’ in not releasing the data and that things “should have been done differently.”
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“The last thing I wanted to do was aggravate a terrible situation,” said Cuomo, a third-term Democrat. “There were people’s requests, press requests that were not answered in a timely manner.”
More than 15,000 people have died in New York state’s nursing homes and long term care facilities from COVID-19, but as recently as last month, the state reported only 8,500 deaths.
The numbers, while accounted for in the full state death totals to the state, were not ascribed to nursing homes for residents who died in hospitals rather than within the facilities.
Requests from state lawmakers and the U.S. Department of Justice were made in August for full accounting, along with numerous requests from the media, Cuomo acknowledged.
He said at the press conference that the state prioritized answering the Justice Department first, and other requests went unanswered.
Angered by what they perceived as a cover-up, last week Democratic and Republican lawmakers said they are reconsidering their decision to grant Cuomo emergency powers to contend with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a betrayal of the public trust,” Andrew Gounardes, a Democratic state senator, wrote on Twitter. “There needs to be full accountability for what happened.”
A senior aide for Cuomo apologized on Friday to state lawmakers for the governor’s office withholding requested data showing the death toll in nursing homes from COVID-19.
Cuomo said of the issue, “We have to learn from it, we have to correct it.”
He also said, “We were managing a pandemic. The number one priority was saving people’s lives every day.”
He did such a great job! He sent those poor people back to the nursing homes to die. Once he realized there was a problem, he covered up the data to save himself. Not only has Cuomo killed his state’s economy with egregious draconian mandates, he killed 15,000 of his senior constituents.
The question remains if anything will done or if, like most Dems, he gets a slight slap on the wrist and goes on his merry way.
Reuters contributed to this report.
ARTICLE SOURCE : thefederalistpapers.org