When you lie to an oversight body in your line of work as an elected official, that’s considered fraud, obstruction, or some other crime, right? I’m just asking for a friend.
Last year, New York lawmakers requested death numbers in nursing homes due to COVID-19 from Governor Andrew Cuomo. What they got were lies.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19 — telling them “we froze” out of fear that the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors.
The stunning admission of a coverup was made by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting.
So DeRosa’s explanation is that “Trump made us do it,” because they were worried about the truth being, you know, the truth.
In addition to attacking Cuomo’s fellow Democratic governors, DeRosa said, Trump “directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.”
“And basically, we froze,” she told the lawmakers on the call.
“Because then 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. That played a very large role into this.”
Again, DeRosa’s statement essentially is that Cuomo and others were worried that the real numbers would be damaging, so they hid them.
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.
Instead of the 9,000 or so reported deaths, the numbers should have been north of 13,000.
So hey, she apologized for putting lawmakers in a tough political position, but not for robbing them of the true numbers so that they could better govern the state. All is forgiven, right?