Andrew Cuomo is in political trouble, maybe real difficulty, for the first time in his years as governor because of the nursing home death coverup.
From the NY Post:
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 Post has learned.
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.
“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.
More on this from the Guardian:
It emerged earlier this week that New York’s nursing home coronavirus death toll was far higher than Cuomo’s administration had initially admitted. New figures were released following a court order in response to a freedom of information request by the Empire Center for Public Policy showed a significant rise from about 9,000 to close to 15,000 once the previously omitted deaths of nursing home residents who died in hospitals were factored in.
“Who cares [if they] died in the hospital, died in a nursing home? They died,” Cuomo said at a news conference in January after New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, released a damning report stating nursing home deaths were 50% higher than his administration had claimed.
DeRosa’s admission added fuel to growing calls for Cuomo’s resignation, impeachment or removal from office, and on Friday the New York congressman Tom Reed said he would pursue legal action against the governor’s aide.
Among those findings were that a larger number of nursing home residents died from COVID-19 than the New York State Department of Health’s (DOH) published nursing home data reflected and may have been undercounted by as much as 50 percent. The investigations also revealed that nursing homes’ lack of compliance with infection control protocols put residents at increased risk of harm, and facilities that had lower pre-pandemic staffing ratings had higher COVID-19 fatality rates. Based on these findings and subsequent investigation, Attorney General James is conducting ongoing investigations into more than 20 nursing homes whose reported conduct during the first wave of the pandemic presented particular concern.
“As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate,” said Attorney General James. “While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents. Nursing homes residents and workers deserve to live and work in safe environments, and I will continue to work hard to safeguard this basic right during this precarious time.”
This blog has been critical of the anti-teacher Cuomo for years, including during the height of the first wave of the pandemic when Cuomo was at the height of his popularity. Having watched the UFT up close for years, we can say with a bit of confidence that we can usually spot BS when we see it and Cuomo is as phony as they come. NY's per capita COVID-19 death rate is the second-highest in the country. Cuomo may no longer be able to talk his way out of it. (Please no comments that we are a Democratic-controlled state. Plenty of Republican states, some with low population density, are at the top of the per capita COVID-19 death list.)
Now that Democrats and Republicans are calling for Cuomo's resignation, impeachment, or taking emergency powers away from him, it is the right time to demand that Cuomo waive the teacher evaluation law again for this year while he still can. No Danielson, no MOSL, no evaluation at all under these pandemic teaching conditions!
Randi Weingarten, Andy Pallotta, and Michael Mulgrew have buddied up to Cuomo for years. It's time to call in a favor. Demand no teacher evaluation. Blog readers can help by spreading the word.