Cuomo Aide Claimed They Withheld Nursing Home Death Stats to Avoid Fed Prosecution, But It Gets Even Worse

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

We reported earlier about the unbelievable story of Governor Cuomo’s top aide confessing that they withheld information about nursing home deaths so the federal government wouldn’t find out and out of fear they might be prosecuted.

The aide, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa tried to excuse themselves from their failure to turn over the statistics after a request by the legislature. She blamed President Donald Trump, claiming he had “turned it into a political football.”

From NY Post:

“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa said. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”

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.”

DeRosa added: “That played a very large role into this.”

After dropping the bombshell, DeRosa asked for “a little bit of appreciation of the context…”

Imagine the gall it takes first to seemingly try to cover up the stats and then blame President Donald Trump and the federal government for asking about them after the scandal of the deaths in the nursing homes hit last year. Trump should be asking and everyone else including the media should have been asking.

Pro tip to DeRosa? Saying you hid them because you were afraid from likely legitimate prosecution is NOT a good look or an excuse.

“So we do apologize,” she said to the assembled Democrats. “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.”

Imagine also apologizing to the Democrats you think you put in a bad place by your perfidy, but not apologizing to the families of the more than 13,000 people who died, some of those likely because of your order?

Other Democrats weren’t buying it. Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) was one of the lawmakers who requested the information back in August. “I don’t have enough time today to explain all the reasons why I don’t give that any credit at all,” he said. Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) whose uncle is presumed to have died of the virus in a nursing home in April was also not accepting the apology. He said what they were really saying is “they had to first make sure that the state was protected against federal investigation.”

But the effort to blame Trump is utter nonsense. His administration was rightfully remarking on the huge scandal although Democrats were trying to dismiss it because it involved Cuomo.

But as we first reported on May 15, 2020 referencing the Daily Caller’s report, Cuomo’s administration didn’t just start covering up the statistics in August, they’d been doing it since at least May after the scandal of Cuomo’s March 25th order broke. Flashback to what I reported then:

Because up until April 28, according to the New York State Health Department (NYSHD), they counted people who lived in nursing homes as dying in the nursing home as a nursing home death, even if in the last stages that person went to the hospital and died there.

But in early May, the reports the NYSDOH was putting out began omitting nursing home residents who died in the hospital thus obscuring a number of nursing home deaths. So there are actually even more than 5,433.

Once Cuomo started getting backlash in the local media about his order, they started playing funny games with the statistics. I reported on May 16, 2020 how Janice Dean and Rep. Elise Stefanik began calling for an investigation.

As we reported earlier today, 9000 positive virus people were sent into the nursing homes after Cuomo’s March 25th order, a number 40% higher than the State originally claimed.

For the Democrats she told this ridiculous story to, the Cuomo administration has been not telling the truth on all this right down the line, it didn’t just start in August, it started in May when Cuomo started getting heat for his order. That couldn’t be, so the stats had to change.

Now the official number of deaths after the AG’s report into the matter is 13,397 and it’s even higher at 15,049 when assisted living/adult care facilities are factored in.

Why did DeRosa mention this now? It would seem to be exceedingly problematic to admit to such a cover-up, right?

DeRosa also made clear why she did so and the reason should infuriate everyone.

“All signs point to they are not looking at this, they’ve dropped it,” she said, claiming they answered their questions and “they’re gone.”

Let’s translate that: she doesn’t think the Biden administration is going to go after them so she and the Cuomo team can relax. And the horrible thing about that is that she’s probably right.