According to the New York Post, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, in a June 18 email to health officials, was “anxious” about the release of a new Department of Health report. The report would shine more light on the truth behind NY’s nursing home coronavirus deaths. The email made evident, the governor’s office’s intent to curtail the notion that Cuomo’s disastrous March 25, 2020 mandate, which forced NY nursing homes to take in Covid-19 infected patients, was to blame.
The Cuomo administration had repeatedly cited a false death toll of 6,000, which did not include any of the “home residents who’d died while hospitalized.” The New York Times reports Cuomo, alongside his aides, sought to stop NY health officials, notably the Health Commissioner, Howard Zucker, from releasing the accurate nursing home data.
Such was made evident with the New York Times’ reporting of a call between Zucker, DeRosa, and Cuomo from October. The call seemed to expose their awareness of the real numbers. It also showcased the certainty of their release to the public. Those numbers weren’t released until January and “might have undercounted the true toll by as much as 50 percent”. This was known to the administration “since the previous spring,” according to The Times.
Even bigger lies by Cuomo to cover up nursing-home scandal https://t.co/E6B2R4ZxVX
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) May 3, 2021
DeRosa herself acknowledged the political interests that motivated Cuomo’s continual denial and subversion of any wrongdoing. In her own private video call to Democratic leaders apologizing for hiding nursing home data, she admits doing so out of concern that the real numbers would be used against the Cuomo administration by federal prosecutors in their investigation. She also expressed that it had not been her, nor the Governor’s “intention to put [the democrats] in that political position with Republicans,” according to The Post.
Claims that the administration’s efforts also led to a scientific paper detailing the actual number of over 9,700 nursing home deaths at the time, being suppressed and never released to the public. This, too, coincided with the release of Cuomo’s new book, which was predicated on his self-proclaimed leadership role he had taken in combatting the virus in NY. The New York Post further points out that DeRosa “was intimately involved” in arranging the $4 million book deal for her boss.
In the end, however, Cuomo still managed to secure the book deal. But, because of The Post’s exclusive exposure of DeRosa’s own private admission of guilt to Democratic leaders regarding the withholding of the nursing home death numbers, due to her fear of the Trump Justice Department probe, an investigation has been opened.
The governor has lawyered up with Elkan Abramowitz as his attorney. Multiple high-ranking officials in his office have been subpoenaed. So far, Abramowitz’s defense for his client has been one of attributing the entire ordeal to disinterest by the administration to “release numbers it did not believe were reliable.”
With Zucker’s long-overdue release of the actual figures soaring at 12,743 deaths in mid-January and a total of 15,049 deaths, if including adult care facilities as of February, according to The Post, Cuomo’s persistent and deliberate attempts to impede the release of these staggering numbers for purely political purposes, appear to be even more damning.