While Gov. Andrew Cuomo was securing a reported $4 million deal to write a book on his pandemic “leadership,” he and his staff were busy suppressing the truth about New York’s nursing-home deaths in the wake of the March 25 order that forced homes to admit COVID-contagious patients. And it now turns out the coverup was even worse than we’d thought.
On top of blocking health officials from telling the truth, senior staffers also quashed a scientific paper that reported the true fatality total, The New York Times reported.
A June 18 e-mail from top aide Melissa DeRosa to health officials shows Team Cuomo was “anxious” about a pending Department of Health report on nursing-home coronavirus fatalities and out to downplay the idea that the March 25 mandate had proved deadly.
The Cuomoites were publicly citing a nursing-home death toll of about 6,000 by ignoring home residents who’d died while hospitalized. The draft report shared the full count of over 9,700, noting that the homes accounted for “approximately 35 percent” of all NY coronavirus deaths. But DeRosa — who at the same time was intimately involved in the gov’s book-deal negotiations — and other staff got all that edited out. The final report said the homes only yielded 21 percent of the state’s virus death total, making it seem below, rather than above, the US average.
Cuomo, the Times reports, acknowledged in an October call with DeRosa, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and others that the full figures would have to come out eventually. But by then he’d already scored his fat book advance.
For months, Zucker and others refused to release the full info, pretending that they needed to check the data first. After the truth came out, DeRosa privately told Democratic legislators Team Cuomo withheld the truth out of fear of a probe by the Trump Justice Department — a provable lie, since the coverup began long before the feds started sniffing.
Cuomo, meanwhile, has fallen back on the first lie, again claiming last Thursday that “the concern for the state was that we provide accurate numbers.”
Give it up, governor: Your blatant dishonesty is an insult to the dead, and it won’t save your skin.
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