Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Erie Times E-Edition Article-Cuomo’s team accused of ‘cover-up’

Posted by M. C. on February 13, 2021

Did Levine and and Wolf follow the Cuomo model?

Marina Villeneuve


ALBANY, N.Y. – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide told Democratic lawmakers that the administration took months to release data on the coronavirus death toll among nursing home residents because officials “froze” over worries the information was “going to be used against us.”

Republicans who term the comment admission of a “cover-up” are now calling for investigations into and the resignations of Cuomo and the aide, secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa. And a growing number of Democrats are joining calls to rescind Cuomo’s emergency executive powers, blasting the administration’s defense of its secrecy.

“To continual defenders of NY Gov. Cuomo how is this ok?” New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a Democrat, tweeted. “How is it not #Trump like? And when FORCED into admission, the most you get is a sorry we got caught … and not even directly from him or to the families.”

The disclosure of DeRosa’s comments, made on a Wednesday conference call with Democratic legislative leaders, came as the Democratic governor – a third-term Democrat who says he’ll run again in 2022 and penned a book touting his handling of the pandemic – and his administration were already facing backlash over their handling and reporting of outbreaks in nursing homes.

Cuomo’s office provided a partial call recording to The Associated Press, but declined to say where it obtained it or allow its publication.

In recent weeks, a court order and state attorney general report has forced the state to acknowledge the nursing home resident death toll is nearly 15,000, when it previously reported 8,500, a number that excluded residents who died after being taken to hospitals. The new toll amounts to about one-seventh of the people living in nursing homes as of 2019 in New York.

Since last spring, news outlets, lawmakers and the public have asked the Cuomo administration for data about COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents.

On Aug. 3, lawmakers asked state health Commissioner Howard Zucker for the number of nursing home residents who died in hospitals.

By mid-August, then-President Donald Trump began retweeting comments criticizing Cuomo for his administration’s response on nursing home deaths.

On Aug. 26, the Department of Justice gave Cuomo’s administration 14 days to provide data on nursing home deaths.

“Basically, we froze 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 and what we start saying was going to be used against us, and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” DeRosa told the Democratic leaders in comments were first reported by The New York Post.

“That played a very large role into this,” she added, saying the administration had asked legislative leaders whether it could “pause on getting back to everybody until we get through this period and we know what’s what with the DOJ.”

New York Republicans are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo and one of his aides, secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa, to resign.

Be seeing you

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