An aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo admitted to Democratic lawmakers that the state concealed nursing home COVID-19 deaths so that the numbers could not “be used against us,” according to the New York Post. Citing an audio recording of a meeting between Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and state Democratic lawmakers, the Post reports that DeRosa offered an apology of sorts. When state leaders received a legislative request for the fatality numbers in August, DeRosa said, “we froze.” She added that this was around the same time that Donald Trump had turned the issue “into a giant political football.”
“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes. He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer,” DeRosa was quoted saying. “So we do apologize. I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair,” she said. Cuomo has come under fire for the state’s staggering and disproportionate nursing home death toll, and a report by the state attorney general last month painted an even more disturbing picture, revealing that the state’s Department of Health had actually undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent.