The Cuomo administration’s attempts to play down the state’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes were even worse than first reported, according to The New York Times. According to interviews and new documents obtained by the newspaper, aides overruled state health officials again and again over a five-month span. They are said to have buried a scientific paper that incorporated complete data, publicized an audit only months after it had been finished, and blocked the health commissioner, Howard Zucker, from releasing accurate tolls to the public or to lawmakers. Elkan Abramowitz, a lawyer for Cuomo’s office, told the Times: “The whole brouhaha here is overblown to the point where there are cynical suggestions offered for the plain and simple truth that the chamber wanted only to release accurate information that they believed was totally unassailable,” he said.
Cuomo’s handling of nursing home deaths is being investigated by federal officials. Officials are probing whether the governor’s office knowingly provided inaccurate numbers to the Justice Department.