FBI and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are currently investigating the administration under Governor Andrew Cuomo. The administration has reportedly been hiding details of the number of deaths due to coronavirus in healthcare facilities, primarily nursing homes.
Albany Times Union first reported the news about the investigation during the initial stages. The sources said that subpoenas were issued. The FBI and US Attorney’s Office for Eastern District, New York, do not want to comment on this right now.
The scope of the investigation is not clear as yet. However, sources mentioned that nursing homes are under a check, and that has led Cuomo frustrated.
As soon as the scrutiny began, the Cuomo administration stated that the DOJ looked into these aspects for months. They also said that they are cooperating with them and will continue to do so.
The fallout results from a report of 76 pages sent out by New York’s attorney general. It records that the state has not reported the actual number of deaths in nursing homes. The numbers are allegedly down by 50% from the original count. The reports show more than 15,000 deaths in such healthcare facilities during the pandemic.
Governor Andrew Cuomo defends his administration
Governor Andrew Cuomo denied all claims and said that their government is reporting the correct numbers. He also defended his controversial policy of sending infected patients back to nursing homes during the pandemic’s initial days.
Melissa DeRosa, the top aide to Cuomo, accepted that the administration did not initially release the actual reports due to the fear of the Trump government using it against them. Cuomo admitted that their administration created the void, and he also said he feels bad about it. However, he refuses to apologize for what he did.
Initially, the quick actions taken by Cuomo during the pandemic were hailed. His book revealed the leadership qualities he exhibited during the crisis, and he also received an Emmy for his briefings. However, many families grieving over their lost ones don’t find the governor’s word valid enough. A young lady holding the picture of her beloved family member spoke to the media and said, “Governor Cuomo turned nursing homes into COVID death chambers.”
Cuomo is defensive about his actions
The controversy regarding the number of deaths has been dogged for over months now. During the beginning of the pandemic, state health officials asked nursing homes to accept patients who live there once they were free from the virus. However, the administration did not follow this rule for weeks.
The governor faced criticism because his actions led to several deaths in the nursing homes. To his defense, he said that his decision was based on federal guidance during that time. He also said that staff members brought the virus into the nursing homes and not the residents.
The governor also said that almost all cases from the nursing homes, which accepted patients from hospitals, already had existing coronavirus cases in them. He said that coronavirus didn’t come into nursing homes because people came from hospitals, but due to staff walking in and out but didn’t know they had COVID-19.