Andrew Covomo’s Covid-19 controversy by the New York governor defined

Cuomo was lauded early in the outbreak for his direct press conferences and passionate requests from the federal government for more medical equipment. In October he published a book called “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From The Covid-19 Pandemic”.

However, he is now facing bipartisan calls for investigations and restrictions on his executive powers after a top adviser said the government delayed the release of data on Covid-19 deaths of residents of long-term care facilities amid concerns about a possible federal investigation the Trump administration at a time when former President Donald Trump was personally threatening Cuomo.

At the heart of the matter is whether New York could have better prevented the state’s nearly 46,000 deaths, the second highest total of any US state, and whether the decision to release hospital residents back to nursing homes has increased with infections vulnerable elderly residents.

Here is everything you need to know about the controversy.

What happened?

Attorney General Letitia James released a report in January stating that the New York Department of Health undercounted deaths from Covid-19 among nursing home residents by about 50%, essentially by eliminating deaths of residents who had been transferred to hospitals, have been omitted.

James also said at the time that some nursing homes at their facilities had under-reported the deaths of residents.

The report tentatively concluded that deaths were underreported based on a survey of 62 nursing homes, a sample of approximately 10% of total facilities across the state.

The attorney general’s report listed one facility where 29 deaths were reported to the Department of Health.

In a statement accompanying the report, New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker pointed out that there was an undercount overall – claiming it was just a matter of classification.

The department “has always publicly reported the number of deaths in hospitals regardless of where the patient lives, and has reported the number of deaths in nursing homes separately, clarifying the nature of that reporting,” Zucker said at the time.

Cuomo has said the death questions started as a “political attack”.

“What I would say is that everyone did the best they could,” Cuomo said during a press conference on January 29th. “When I say that the Department of Health, as the report said, the Department of Health followed federal orders. So if you think something has gone wrong, speak to the federal government. It’s not about your fingers or the blame It’s like this became a football political right. See if a person died in a hospital or a nursing home. It’s – people died. People died. “

How did things escalate?

A top Cuomo adviser Melissa DeRosa told lawmakers in a private virtual meeting earlier this month that the government was releasing data on Covid-19 deaths among residents of long-term care facilities due to concerns about a possible federal investigation delayed.

DeRosa specifically said the administration was “frozen” on data requests from state lawmakers because it was concerned about criticism from Trump last summer and was unsure what information it would reveal after a US Justice Department inquiry into the investigation Covid-19 state nursing home deaths.

“The letter arrives in late August and around the same time President Trump is turning it into a giant political football. He starts tweeting that we all killed in nursing homes and goes to (New Jersey Gov. Phil) Murphy, starts to (California Gov. Gavin) Finding Newsom goes to (Michigan Gov.) Gretchen Whitmer, “DeRosa said, according to a transcript of the call.

In a statement last week, DeRosa tried to clarify her comments on the appeal to lawmakers.

“I explained that when we received the DOJ investigation, we had to temporarily postpone the legislature’s request to deal with the federal inquiry first. We notified houses about it at this point,” she said. “We responded fully and transparently to the DOJ and immediately had to focus our resources on the introduction of the second wave and the vaccine.”

Cuomo himself said at a press conference on Monday that the Ministry of Health had always “fully” reported all Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes and hospitals before insisting that “nothing was investigated”.

He also took responsibility for not providing information to grieving people more quickly.

“The void allowed misinformation and conspiracy, and now people are left with the thought, ‘Did my loved one have to die?’ And that’s a brutal, brutal question to ask a person, “he said. “And I want everyone to know that everything has been done. Everything has been done in the best interests of the best minds.”

What was the fallout?

New York’s Democratic leaders are in active discussions to draft legislation to abolish Cuomo’s extended executive power.

“There is a dynamic moving in the direction of the removal of his powers,” a source told CNN’s Lauren del Valle. A draft law is expected to be introduced in the state parliament this week and passed early next week.

The source said there was support for the lifting of Cuomo’s expanded powers before the aide’s comments were released, but now “it will definitely happen”.

Cuomo said Monday there was no link between the nursing home’s issues and its emergency powers, and he said his legal action after Covid-19 was only to protect the public.

“These are public health decisions,” he said. “They are not local policy decisions and they must be made on a public health basis.”

Other lawmakers are calling for an investigation into the episode, and the state’s Republican Party leader has called for Cuomo’s impeachment.

“The severity of this cover-up cannot be stressed enough,” Nick Langworthy, New York GOP chairman, told a recent news conference.

“The Cuomo administration deliberately lied and withheld evidence and information to avoid criminal prosecution,” he continued. “Andrew Cuomo must be prosecuted and Andrew Cuomo must be charged when this evidence is available.”

CNN’s Dakin Andone, Lauren del Valle and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.

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