One of Governor Cuomo’s top aides Melissa DeRose just privately apologized to New York’s leading Democratic lawmakers during a video conference call for withholding the state’s nursing-home COVID-19 death toll. She explained in the audio recording that they “froze” it out of fear and were worried that the true numbers would be used against them by federal prosecutors.
DeRose said they hid the data right around the time former President Donald Trump turned COVID-19 into a “giant political football” and started tweeting that Cuomo killed everyone in nursing homes. Trump then directed the Department of Justice to do an investigation on Cuomo and his office and DeRose admitted “basically, we froze.”
“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. That played a very large role into this,” DeRose admitted.
She asked for a little appreciation of the context and what appeared to be the first apology from Cuomo’s administration to the grieving members of more than 13,000 dead seniors. A spokesperson then released an official statement from Cuomo’s office regarding the bombshell report.
“We explained that the Trump administration was in the midst of a politically motivated effort to blame democratic states for COVID deaths and that we were cooperating with Federal document productions and that was the priority and now that it is over we can address the state legislature,” it read.
Only Cuomo and his administration would underreport the true number of coronavirus patients sent to nursing homes under Cuomo’s order and still find a way to blame Trump. The revelation led Rep. Lee Zeldin to request that the Department of Justice open an obstruction of justice investigation. He said the family members of thousands of dead New York seniors deserve accountability and justice for the consequences of Gov. Cuomo’s flawed covid-19 policies. He said that the continued attempts to cover up made it clear that “what’s happening here is criminal.”
Senior Cuomo adviser Rich Azzopardi also placed some of the blame on the Trump Administration, saying that they were cooperating with federal document productions and that was “the priority.” He said they “had been” working towards addressing the state legislature and to complete the audit of information they were asking for.
The underreported numbers emerged just two weeks after the state attorney general found that the end of January numbers were also underreported. GOP lawmakers called out Cuomo and his administration for caring more about a DOJ investigation and political finger-pointing than the 15,000+ seniors who died in adult-care families under his orders. They said the “closed-door” conversations don’t cut it anymore.
State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy called Cuomo’s bombshell a “premeditated and willful violation of state laws” and that it clearly amounted to a “federal obstruction of justice. “Andrew Cuomo has abused his power and destroyed the trust placed in the office of governor. Prosecution and impeachment discussions must begin right away,” he said.
All last year we saw Gov. Cuomo blaming former President Trump for the COVID-19 nursing home deaths and now he is saying he intentionally underreported those deaths to work with the DOJ and Trump Administration? Democrats are running out of conservatives to blame and will have to be held accountable soon enough.
I don't recall the chapter in @NYGovCuomo's book "American Crisis, Leadership lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic" that talks about underreporting numbers and purposely hiding nursing home data…maybe that's in the sequel? https://t.co/ViDBNBcGB2
— American Conservatives (@AmConservatives) February 12, 2021