(WIVB)– The New York Post is reporting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration withheld the number of nursing home deaths during the pandemic.
It alleges the administration acted out of fear that the true numbers would be used against them by federal prosecutors.
The governor’s office provided News 4 with the following statement:
“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. That said, we were working simultaneously to complete the audit of information they were asking for.”The Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Here is a new statement from Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa:
“I was explaining that when we received the DOJ inquiry, we needed to temporarily set aside the Legislature’s request to deal with the federal request first. We informed the houses of this at the time. We were comprehensive and transparent in our responses to the DOJ, and then had to immediately focus our resources on the second wave and vaccine rollout. As I said on a call with legislators, we could not fulfill their request as quickly as anyone would have liked. But we are committed to being better partners going forward as we share the same goal of keeping New Yorkers as healthy as possible during the pandemic.”Melissa DeRosa
Assembly Director of Communications Michael Whyland provided this statement on Friday morning:
“There was a formal request from Assembly committee chairs and other members to the Department of Health asking for more information on follow up questions in regards to data on nursing homes. The Governor’s office communicated to staff that they needed more time to provide the information. Other than what was reported in the news, the Speaker had no knowledge of an official Department of Justice inquiry.”Michael Whyland
New York Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt says if the governor was involved in holding back information he should be removed from office.
The news today that Governor Cuomo’s top aide admitted to deliberately withholding information about COVID-19 deaths is the latest in a string of disturbing acts of corruption by his administration. This is clearly a gross obstruction of justice. Instead of apologizing or providing answers to the thousands of New York families who lost loved ones, the Governor’s administration made apologies to politicians behind closed doors for the “political inconvenience” this scandal has caused them.
There is no need to deny what everyone in Albany and around New York State already knows: Governor Cuomo controls every aspect of his administration with an obsessive attention to detail. I am again calling that Governor Cuomo and his administration be investigated from top to bottom and that he be stripped of his emergency powers. Justice needs to be brought for the grieving families who have been ignored to protect Governor Cuomo and his Democrat allies in the Legislature.
If the Governor is involved, he should be immediately removed from office.NEW YORK STATE SENATOR ROBERT ORTT (R, C, IP) – 62ND SENATE DISTRICT
Congressman Tom Reed released a statement calling on the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation into New York State and Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“To all my colleagues in Congress, including Democratic members of the New York Delegation — the mountain of evidence cannot be ignored any longer.
Governor Cuomo’s disastrous March order knowingly sent COVID-positive patients into nursing homes, which led to the deaths of thousands of the state’s parents and grandparents.
Since that fateful order, the state has done everything in its power to downplay its horrific errors and prevent the public, lawmakers, and federal investigators from knowing the truth.
Now, the state’s convenient narrative is falling apart.
Please join us and echo our ongoing call for an independent and thorough investigation by the Biden Department of Justice into Governor Cuomo and New York State. Regardless of our party affiliation, we should be able to agree this is the only way to achieve justice for the thousands of grieving New York families. It is time to move past the lies and finally uncover the full truth.”U.S. Representative TOM REED (R) – New York’s 23rd congressional district
New York State Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay says he isn’t surprised about the allegations.
“The report that Gov. Cuomo’s office intentionally concealed information is hardly surprising, but there must be accountability. It seems every decision coming out of the governor’s office is about ‘Team Cuomo’ protecting its own image and own interests. More than 15,000 seniors died in nursing homes and adult-care facilities, but the governor was clearly more worried about a Department of Justice investigation and political finger-pointing. Public health took a back seat to public relations. This administration intentionally withheld information from the public, from the press, from lawmakers and from the thousands of families who lost loved ones.
This is why closed-door conversations won’t cut it. If this episode doesn’t make it painfully obvious that we need to issue subpoenas and hold public hearings, I don’t know what will.”NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLYMAN William Barclay (R,C,I) – Assembly District 12