The FBI and the US Attorney’s office in Brooklyn have launched a fresh investigation into the handling of the nursing home crisis by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo after reports surfaced last week that the administration had lied regarding the number of deaths that had occurred in nursing homes due to Covid-19.
The investigation is new and has already started to target key members of Cuomo’s Covid-19 taskforce, including Secretary of State to Governor Melissa DeRosa and New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.
What has sparked this investigation?
Neither Cuomo nor any members of his task force have currently been accused of doing anything wrong, however, a source who spoke with the Albany Times Union has stated that an investigation has begun, whilst a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s office has claimed that they can neither confirm nor deny the beginning of any investigation into the Governor’s administration.
This investigation has sparked from a report that was released last week, that analyzed the impact of this administration’s actions on tackling Covid-19.
The report highlights a March 25th order, that demanded all nursing homes throughout New York should take in recovering Covid patients to free up beds in hospitals.
Inevitably, the action backfired, sending the death rate throughout nursing homes through the roof, something which the administration then lied about in their daily death figures, undercutting the real number by around 20%.
FBI and the US Attorney investigation will bring more answers
Melissa DeRosa came under fire recently for admitting that the administration had withheld information from the New York State legislature after they requested more data regarding Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes.
This drew bipartisan criticism in the state, putting immense pressure on the administration to release the true figures.
The administration later clarified that they only withheld the information from the state legislature as they wanted to first finalize a federal request from the Department of Justice regarding the nursing home data, which was sent to the Governor in late August.
Cuomo has also defended his March 25th order, citing that the administration acted under the federal guidance that they had at the time, claiming that patients were only sent to nursing homes who had the capacity to look after them.
Cuomo then claimed that of the 365 nursing homes throughout New York, 98% of them had already reported an outbreak of Covid-19 cases before they had patients sent back to them.
The administration remains confident that they have always accurately reported the data, despite a report released by the Associated Press stating the contrary.
This had led to multiple Republican lawmakers in Capitol Hill, including Senator Ted Cruz, to call for a congressional probe into the situation in New York.
The progress of the FBI and the US Attorney investigation has just begun, with more information expected to be released in the coming weeks.