The Brooklyn US attorney and the FBI have opened a preliminary investigation into how the administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomos handled data on deaths from Covid-19 nursing homes.
After praising his leadership early when his state became the US epicenter of the pandemic, the governor now faces charges of underreporting deaths in nursing homes.
In recent weeks, the administration has revealed that 15,000 residents of long-term care facilities have died, up from 8,500 previously disclosed.
Spokesmen for the US attorney in Brooklyn and the FBI declined to comment Wednesday night.
The Albany Times Union first broke news of the investigation.
As we have said publicly, the DOJ has been addressing this issue for months. We have cooperated with them and we will continue to do so, ”Senior Advisor to the Governor, Rich Azzopardi said Wednesday evening.
Last month, State Attorney General Letitia James released a damning report that the state’s health department underestimated the death toll from Covid-19 in homes by 50%. retirement.
And last week, Melissa DeRosa, Cuomos’ senior aide, said the state delayed releasing the more comprehensive death tally in August over concerns that President Donald Trump would use the information against Cuomo.
On Monday, the governor acknowledged that “things should have been done differently” and insisted that “lessons had been learned”.
“In retrospect, should we have given more priority to meeting requests for information? In my opinion, yes. And that’s what created the vacuum,” Cuomo said. “I just want to make sure people know these are the facts: everything that could have been done has been done.”
New York Democratic and Republican lawmakers would now reconsider their decision to grant Cuomo emergency powers to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.
New York was hit hard in the early days of the pandemic and, until recently, the state led the country in Covid-19 deaths. It had recorded 47,301 deaths on Wednesday, just behind the 47,670 deaths in California, according to the most recent data from NBC News.
Most of the deaths in New York City occurred in the early days of the pandemic, when public health officials were trying to figure out how the coronavirus was spreading.
The Eastern District of the United States is likely postponing this investigation in part because U.S. District Attorney Audrey Strauss for the Southern District is Cuomos DeRosa’s aide-in-law and is expected to recuse herself and recuse herself.
A spokesperson for the Southern District attorney in the United States also declined to comment on Wednesday evening.
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