Secretary to the Governor Andrew Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, admitted to Democratic lawmakers that the the state of New York concealed nursing home COVID-19 deaths so that the very high numbers could not “be used against us,” by federal prosecutors according to a New York Post.
In an audio recording of a video conference meeting between Cuomo, DeRosa and state Democratic lawmakers, the Post reports that DeRosa offered an apology of sorts. When state leaders received a legislative request for the fatality numbers in August, DeRosa said, “we froze.” She added that this was around the same time that Donald Trump had turned the issue “into a giant political football.”
“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes. He starts going after [New Jersey Governor Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Governor Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Governor] Gretchen Whitmer,” Melissa DeRosa was quoted as saying.
In addition to attacking Cuomo’s fellow Democratic governors, DeRosa said, Trump “directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.”
“So we do apologize. 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.” she said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has come under fire for the state’s staggering and disproportionate nursing home death toll. A report put out by the state attorney general Letitia “Tish” James last month showed an even more disturbing picture, revealing that the state’s Department of Health had actually undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent.