Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York has been criticized following a recording that made its way to the media where his top aide admitted that the administration had withheld data. The governor who spearheaded New York’s response to the Covid-19 situation and was lauded by the media now faces fresh calls for resignation.
It has been alleged that a leaked recording of Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s top aide admitted to a group of Democrats in a private conversation that the governor’s administration had withheld data to the DOJ regarding deaths occurring in New York’s nursing homes due to Covid-19. The New York post said it had obtained the leaked recording, and further claimed that the true data was not disclosed to the public due to fears that the Department of Justice would purse state misconduct based on the figures.
Andrew Cuomo Criticized After Allegations Of Hiding Covid Deaths In Nursing Home
The former president, Donald Trump made allegations on Twitter last year on August, calling for the Justice Department to investigate into the matter. The newspaper claims that DeRosa had also cited her fears that anything that the administration would submit to the Department of Justice could be used against them, fearing an investigation into this matter.
The shocking leak comes after figures that were released earlier this week that said that the coronavirus death toll for nursing homes were far greater than claimed by Cuomo’s administration. After the Empire Center for Public Policy filed a freedom of information request, the Albany County Acting Supreme Court Justice Kimberly O’Connor ordered the release of the subdued reports, which showed a significant increase from 9,000 to 15,000 deaths at Nursing Homes in New York due to Covid.
The New York governor was already under the cosh, as he made objectionable remarks in response to attorney general Letitia James report that claimed that the nursing home deaths were 50% higher than what Cuomo’s administration had claimed. Cuomo, at a new conference in January remarked that it doesn’t matter if the Covid patients had died in a hospital or a nursing home.
The latest release added fuel to the fire, amid calls for the governor’s impeachment or removal, should he fail to tender his resignation soon. Tom Reed, a Congressman from New York said that he would look to pursue legal action against the Cuomo administration. Republicans joined in too, with the State senator and minority leader Rob Ortt voicing his opinion for the removal of the governor if he was also an actor in this criminal withholding of information.
Politico quoted Nick Langworthy, the state GOP who said that the Andrew Cuomo had abused his position of power and hence, should face prosecution and impeachment right away.
DeRosa had said in a statement on Friday that the administration had been completely transparent in their disclosures to the DOJ and had to focus their resources on the vaccination programs that went recently underway.
It isn’t just Republicans who are calling for appropriate action to be initiated against the governor, but democrats, particularly from New York who were cross with Cuomo’s “betrayal of public trust”. The democratic state senator, Andrew Gounardes went a step further asking the legislature to review its grant of broadcast powers to state governors.
As per the John Hopkins coronavirus database, New York state had a total of 45,453 deaths due to the Coronavirus. After the hidden cases were factored in, the number of nursing home residents who had died due to the coronavirus rose to 15,049 from previous figure of 13,297, as per the New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.