Updated: April 28, 2021 09:52 PM
Created: April 28, 2021 05:07 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration's changes to nursing home COVID-19 death data span at least five months according to interviews and data unearthed in a new report.
The New York Times is reporting that Cuomo aides repeatedly overruled state health officials in an effort to prevent New York State Department of Health officials from releasing the true COVID-19 death toll in nursing homes.
The Times reports that a scientific paper that included the data was never published, and an audit conducted by his top aides was completed months before it became known to the public.
All of this was while Cuomo was writing his book, according to The Times.
A report by the New York State Attorney General's Office revealed that the nursing home deaths were undercounted by as much as 50%.
Elkin Abramowitz, legal counsel for the Governor’s office sent the following response:
“The whole brouhaha here is overblown to the point where there are cynical suggestions offered for the plain and simple truth that the chamber wanted only to release accurate information that they believed was totally unassailable."
“The chamber was never satisfied that the numbers that they were getting from D.O.H. were accurate."
“The chamber responded to the D.O.J. request with what they deemed to be totally accurate numbers. They didn’t want to have a public debate about other numbers at the same time.”
“What’s going on in the press now is exactly what the chamber wanted to avoid while William Barr was A.G.”
“(The Governor) was interested in putting out only accurate information to highlight the contrast between Albany and Washington."
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt released the following statement on The Times' report:
"Today’s revelation in the New York Times once again confirms what my Senate Republican colleagues and I have said for months: the Governor and his administration lied about COVID-related nursing home deaths, they lied about covering it up, and they continue to lie about their deliberate efforts to mislead the public.
"It’s been clear to my conference for months that the Governor should be immediately impeached. Yet somehow in the Senate, despite all the tough talk about getting to the bottom of this coverup, Democrats have failed to send a single subpoena to this out-of-control administration, despite our many repeated pleas for a top-to-bottom investigation.
"It’s not just the Governor who should be ashamed of his actions -- it’s Democrats who should be ashamed of their own inaction. The families who lost loved ones in New York nursing homes deserve better.
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