New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Covid-19 controversy, explained
February 16, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to members of New York state's Electoral College before voting for President and Vice President in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol in Albany, New York on December 14, 2020. - Joe Biden's march to the White House -- overshadowed by President Donald Trump's frantic attempts to overturn the US election -- is to be formalized when the Electoral College meets to confirm the Democrat's win. (Photo by Hans Pennink / POOL / AFP) (Photo by HANS PENNINK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is at the center of an escalating controversy over deaths in nursing homes, how they were counted and how they handled requests for that data.
(CNN)Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is at the center of an escalating controversy over deaths in nursing homes, how they were counted and how they handled requests for that data.
Now, however, he's facing bipartisan calls for an investigation and limitations on his executive powers after a top aide said the administration delayed the release of data on Covid-19 deaths of long-term care facility residents because of concerns about a potential federal investigation by the Trump administration, at a time when former President Donald Trump was personally threatening Cuomo.
State Attorney General Letitia James issued a report in January finding that the New York State Department of Health undercounted Covid-19 deaths among residents of nursing homes by approximately 50%, essentially by leaving out deaths of residents who had been transferred to hospitals.
A top aide to Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, told state lawmakers in a private virtual meeting this month that the administration delayed the release of data on Covid-19 deaths among long-term care facility residents because of concerns about a potential federal investigation.
DeRosa specifically said the administration "froze" with regard to data requests from state lawmakers because it was concerned last summer about criticism from Trump and hadn't been sure what information it was going to turn over after a request from the US Justice Department related to an inquiry into the state's Covid-19 nursing home deaths.
Cuomo himself said at a news conference on Monday that the state Department of Health has always "fully" reported all Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes and hospitals before insisting there's "nothing to investigate. "
Cuomo said Monday there was no connection between the nursing home questions and his emergency powers, and he said his Covid-19 legal actions are only to protect the public.