Gov. Cuomo aide reveals N.Y. state withheld nursing home COVID-19 death data
UPDATED 8:13 AM PT – Friday, February 12, 2021
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has faced public scrutiny after one of his top aides revealed officials hid nursing home data on coronavirus infections from the public.
According to the New York Post on Thursday, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa privately apologized during a video conference call to state Democrat leaders while admitting the Cuomo administration deliberately withheld the Empire State’s coronavirus nursing home death toll. She claimed officials “froze out of fear” while worrying the accurate numbers would be used by federal prosecutors in a probe against the governor’s office.
Back in September, the New York state Senate requested the information from the Cuomo administration, which refused to cooperate. DeRosa apologized for the political inconvenience it caused lawmakers.
However, Democrats rejected her comments with state Senate Aging Committee chairwoman Rachel May stating the biggest issue for her was “feeling like she had to defend an administration that was appearing to be covering something up.”
That same day, an exclusive report from the Associated Press revealed New York placed over 9,000 recovering coronavirus patients into nursing homes during New York’s peak of the pandemic.
“The AP has obtained records showing that more than 9,000 patients suffering from COVID in hospitals were transferred to nursing homes in New York State about a year ago,” stated AP reporter Bernard Condon. “The 9,000 patients transferred — that’s 40 percent higher than we had previously known.”
Senate GOP Leader Robert Ortt on the the Post story this evening -> pic.twitter.com/1kytBAlLLG
— Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) February 12, 2021
The transfer of recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals into these facilities was part of guidance crafted by Cuomo in order reportedly free-up space at hospitals. The Democrat governor has vehemently dismissed the findings and claimed his administration has always followed federal guidelines.
“As the report said, the State Department of Health followed federal guidance,”Cuomo stated. “So if you think there was a mistake, then go talk to the federal government.”