Fate of Cuomo’s COVID-19 Death Toll Data Investigations
WRITTEN BY ALICIA HOPE
In 2018, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo received a $1 million donation from a healthcare lobby, the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), a coalition of hospitals, including some owning nursing homes.
Two years later, Cuomo signed a sweeping law shielding nursing home executives from civil or criminal liability for harm arising from acts or omissions while providing health care. Using existing data, critics pointed out that such a law correlates to higher covid-19 deaths.
While immunity from liability was necessary to protect healthcare workers and volunteers working under extraordinary circumstances, immunity for nursing home executives raised serious questions.
Opponents suggested it would encourage them to make questionable decisions to prioritise profits over human life.
In the same year, Cuomo signed another law allowing nursing homes to re-admit patients without testing them for the virus.
Readmitting untested patients likely helped spread covid-19 to nursing homes, causing more deaths in elderly care facilities.
Unsurprisingly, New York, which had sweeping liability immunity laws, was an outlier in covid-19 deaths compared to states with more restricted liability protections. Additionally, Cuomo fought against proposals to have nursing homes more accurately record the number of covid-19 mortalities. Coincidentally, it was revealed that the number of covid-19 mortalities was underreported by up to 50%, with Cuomo’s administration hiding the real toll for five months.
Cuomo’s aides reportedly battled state health officials to hide the death toll, buried a scientific paper that could have exposed the higher covid-19 toll, and failed to send two Health Department letters to legislators.
According to Cuomo’s aide Melissa DeRosa, the state withheld data, fearing an investigation by former President Donald Trump.
Several attempts were made to uncover Cuomo's alleged collusion in hiding the covid-19 toll data. Headed by DA Alvin Bragg, Manhattan's district attorney's Elder Abuse Unit conducted a "thorough investigation" that cleared Cuomo of any wrongdoing. In 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation also began an investigation with the Eastern District of New York into Cuomo's suspected manipulation of covid-19 data.
Multiple FBI agents interviewed New York's Health Department officials at work, at home, and on the phone and subpoenaed official documents. However, the FBI has so far not publicly released any information about the progress. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that the FBI probe would make any progress given that it was headed by the U.S. Eastern District, whose DA Audrey Strauss is Cuomo’s aide DeRosa's mother-in-law.
In case you have forgotten, Andrew Cuomo was the poster boy for the pandemic. Every week he was featured on every mainstream media outlet. It was evident that, at the time, the Democratic party planned a future Presidential run for Cuomo. However, the nursing home scandal disrupted those plans. Whistleblowers came out in mass, speaking to the media and giving detailed accounts of the nursing home deaths. As much as the media tried their damnedest to keep facts from coming out, as with any other juicy story, some journalists could not resist breaking a news report.
As a result, Cuomo ends up becoming a liability to the Democrats. What followed was the cover-up and the quick exit from his Governorship in New York. Using a BS sexual harassment scandal, Cuomo was able to slip out of the public spotlight with minimal damage. Instead of being thoroughly investigated for allegedly putting sick-elderly people in an unhealthy environment, which reportedly led to many deaths in those nursing homes, Cuomo received a slap on the wrist.