New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has faced staunch criticism from the right for nearly a year over his deadly mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, at least where nursing homes were concerned — and all the while, the Democrat has dismissed allegations of wrongdoing as purely partisan and not based in fact.
Now, however, one of Cuomo’s top aides has confessed that the governor’s administration covered up the true death toll from COVID-19 in the state’s assisted living facilities for months, ostensibly to avoid scrutiny by federal investigators, as Breitbart reported.
The aide, secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa, even offered up an apology of sorts for the deliberate cover-up — not to the grieving families of those who perished due to Cuomo’s horrific policy that placed infected patients in nursing homes, but to Democratic lawmakers in the state for placing them in an uncomfortable political position.
Sorry for the political trouble
The admission from DeRosa was first reported by the New York Post after the paper obtained an audio recording of a private two-hour conference call involving DeRosa and a number of top Democratic officials in New York state — lawmakers who themselves had been denied the real numbers of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by Cuomo’s team.
The stated reason for the governor’s refusal to provide accurate numbers was a supposed concern that then-President Donald Trump would turn the scandal into a “giant political football” that could be used against them in critical tweets.
DeRosa also expressed fears that Trump would direct his Justice Department “to do an investigation into us” and, because of all of that, “basically, we froze,” she said.
“Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” she reportedly told Democrats. “That played a very large role into this.
“So we do apologize,” DeRosa said later. “I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans.”
Cuomo’s last stand
The Post noted that several of the Democratic lawmakers expressed outrage over the deceptive — not to mention potentially criminal — cover-up, both in remarks during that conference call as well as to the media once word of what had been said got out.
All of this comes in the wake of a recent report from New York Attorney General Letitia James, herself a Democrat, which determined that the Cuomo administration had undercounted nursing home deaths by as much as 50%.
That revelation, which wasn’t far off from an estimated undercount of as much as 65% by the Associated Press, was eventually confirmed by a spokesperson for Cuomo, even as the governor still attempted to dismiss what had occurred as a non-scandal.
The AP has now reported that Cuomo’s terrible March 25 directive led to at least 9,000 coronavirus-infected patients being placed in nursing homes among one of the most vulnerable populations to the virus, undoubtedly resulting in more sickness and death than might otherwise have occurred. In short, this is nothing less than a career-ending scandal for Cuomo and his closest aides — or at least it should be.