According to a new bombshell report from the NY Post Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told leading state Democratic lawmakers that the administration had withheld data on COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes to avoid federal scrutiny.
The revelation has some calling for an investigation, condemning Cuomo, and even calls for impeachment.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, a NY Republican, is calling for the DOJ to open an obstruction of justice investigation.
Zeldin said “The families of thousands of dead New York seniors deserve accountability and justice for the true consequences of Governor Cuomo’s fatally flawed nursing home policy and the continued attempts to cover it up. It’s clear what’s happening here is criminal.”
Per Fox News, the NY Post was the first to report that “Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, told leading Empire State Democrats that the administration feared the data could “be used against us” by the Justice Department during a video conference call.”
DeRosa reportedly told lawmakers “we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.”
Per the NY Post “after dropping the bombshell, DeRosa asked for “a little bit of appreciation of the context” and offered what appears to be the Cuomo administration’s first apology for its handling of nursing homes amid the pandemic.
“We do apologize,” DeRosa reportedly said. “I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans.”
Rich Azzopardi, a senior Cuomo adviser, attempted to deflect some of the blame on the Trump administration.
He said Thursday evening wWe explained that the Trump administration was in the midst of a politically motivated effort to blame Democratic states for COVID deaths and that we were cooperating with federal document productions — and that was the priority. And now that it is over, we can address the state Legislature. That said, we were working simultaneously to complete the audit of information they were asking for.”
— New York Post (@nypost) February 11, 2021