Report: FBI investigating if Cuomo aides gave false nursing home death data to DOJ

Updated: March 19, 2021 11:17 PM
Created: March 19, 2021 09:16 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation's investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo's handling of nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic has honed in on determining whether or not the governor and senior aides gave the Justice Department false data on nursing home resident deaths.

That's according to a new report by The New York Times.

The Times is reporting that FBI agents have contacted lawyers for the governor's aides, interviewed senior New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) officials and subpoenaed the governor's office for documents connected to the disclosure of COVID-19 deaths in the nursing home population.

The Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI opened the preliminary investigation last month.

The Times and The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that top aides, including Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, Linda Lacewell and the Head of the State's Financial Services Jim Malatras, who is now SUNY Chancellor, rewrote a report written by state health officials and hid the true number of nursing home deaths due to COVID-19.

The State Assembly Judiciary Committee is also expected to look into how the Cuomo administration handled COVID-related nursing home deaths during the pandemic in its impeachment investigation.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 15,000 long-term care residents have died.

On Jan. 28, a report from New York State Attorney General Letitia James found the NYSDOH's published nursing home death data may have been undercounted by as much as 50%.

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