Last week, a story in the New York Post revealed that a secretary to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo named Melissa DeRosa confessed to other New York Democrats during a conference call that the Cuomo administration had been hiding data on the number of COVID-related nursing home deaths in the state. She said that Cuomo made the decision because they feared a Justice Department investigation into the matter.
Now, Cuomo has come out and tried to explain—or essentially, make excuses for—why this was done.
Not even New York Democrats are accepting his explanation. One even called it “trash.”
The New York Nursing Home Fiasco
This confession was only the latest in a string of stories revealing chaos, mismanagement, corruption and outright lying in the Cuomo administration when it comes to COVID-19.
New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report showing that Cuomo may have understated the total number of nursing home fatalities caused by the virus in his state by as much as 50%. The true number may be as high as 13,000. According to New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, the number may be as high as 15,049 when factoring in assisted living and adult care facilities.
These deaths were the result of Cuomo’s demand that nursing homes admit patients who had tested positive for COVID-19, even though seniors are among the most at-risk groups for death from the virus.
Cuomo Makes Excuses, but NY Dems Won’t Have Them
On Monday, February 15, Cuomo attempted to downplay the fact that he lied about the results of his disastrous policy—even to New York legislators. He called it all a “breakdown in communication between the staff and members of the legislature.”
“We gave precedence to the DOJ. We told the Assembly that, we told the Senate that, and that’s what we did. We were also in the midst of managing a pandemic,” Cuomo said.
But Jessica Ramos, a Democratic State Senator from New York, was furious and would have none of it. She took to Twitter to excoriate Cuomo, calling his remarks, “trash.”
“No one believes you,” she said. “At no point did the Administration notify the Legislature about a DOJ investigation. People died and Cuomo lied, then he had the gall to write a book.”
Cuomo’s actions were purely a face-saving measure designed to save himself and deflect responsibility for what happened. Everyone sees that clearly.