Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo misrepresented and manipulated the number of nursing home residents who have died across the Empire State due to COVID-19, according to a State Assemblyman who sits on the committee that is reviewing its still-secret report.
Assemblyman Phil Steck is one of the Judiciary Committee members who reviewed the nearly 45-page report, compiled by the New York City law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, on Thursday and Friday, prior to its release to the public.
The report could be made public as soon as next week.
The report itself is said to cover everything from Cuomo’s sexual harassment accusations to claims of his staff assisting in the writing of his book on the Coronavirus pandemic.
A lesser-known part of the report includes the Cuomo administration’s misrepresentation of COVID-19 data related to the death toll of nursing home residents across the Empire State and manipulating numbers as presented to the public.
Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, pictured, misrepresented the number of nursing home residents who died due to COVID-19, according to still-secret investigative report
Pictured: New York State Attorney General Letitia James led the initial inquiry into Cuomo’s misconduct in office, which led to charges that he groped a former female aide
Nursing home residents wait on line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a Harlem nursing home. A state report claims Cuomo misrepresented COVID-19 death tolls for nursing centers
The gaps in the state’s COVID-19 fatality accounting included the decision to exclude nursing home death totals of thousands of residents who died after being taken from the homes to the hospital, according to reports in August.
That report came at the same time Cuomo resigned from office in disgrace, likely to avoid an impeachment trial in the wake of a separate investigation, led by two independent investigators hired by the state’s attorney general, that found he sexually harassed 11 women in office.
The report’s investigators included details that the state Department of Health had specifically requested that data on hospital deaths in relation to the state’s nursing home COVID-19 death toll.
‘The investigation showed that as they were considering these matters, the book deal was going on, there’s a chapter in the book about nursing homes,’ said the lawmaker, a Democrat who represents part of the Albany area in Upstate New York.
‘They were trying to make it as what they thought was least damaging to the governor instead of just telling the truth.’
Cuomo, pictured, resigned from office in disgrace in August, likely to avoid an impeachment trial in the wake of separate investigation that found he sexually harassed 11 women in office
Health officials said the exclusion of nursing home data was not done to make the state’s Coronavirus death count look better than it was, nor was it done to protect Cuomo’s reputation
Administration officials in Cuomo’s office did acknowledge the state’s nursing home fatality totals were not complete at the time, while arguing the time it would take to verify data
Assembly Member Mary Beth Walsh, a Republican, said that the timing of Cuomo’s abrupt resignation hindered investigative efforts to interview witnesses regarding the misrepresentation and manipulation of the nursing home COVID data.
‘I believe that the timing of the governor’s resignation really kind of truncated the investigation and the ability to investigate on that,’ said Walsh, whose district includes parts of Saratoga and Schenectady counties.
‘Several individuals who were scheduled to be subpoenaed did not cooperate after the governor’s resignation.’
However, administration officials in Cuomo’s office did acknowledge the state’s nursing home fatality totals were not complete at the time, arguing the time it would take to verify the immense amount of data.
Meanwhile, health officials said the exclusion of data was not done to make the state’s Coronavirus death count look better than it was, nor was it done in an effort to protect Cuomo’s reputation.
Cuomo has steadfastly denied touching anyone inappropriately since news of the accusations initially broke
On Friday, Rich Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesperson, said that the former administration has yet to see a copy of the Assembly’s report, while hinting the results may be ‘one-sided.’
‘The Assembly Judiciary Committee has chosen not to review their findings with us which is their prerogative, but it may once again result in a one-sided report,’ Azzopardi said.
Assembly Member Walsh claimed the report included ‘overwhelming evidence’ that the former governor sexually harassed the women who came forward.
Cuomo, who is currently facing a criminal charge that he groped a female aide, has steadfastly denied touching anyone inappropriately since news of the accusations initially broke.
The report also touches on Cuomo’s $5.1 million book deal, rules of which Steck says were ‘very clear,’ adding that the then-governor violated conditions set by the state ethics committee which barred Cuomo from using his staff to help write the book.
The ethics committee rescinded their approval of Cuomo’s book deal this week, an act Walsh says could ‘open the door’ to further fines for the disgraced former governor.