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Cuomo handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes now being investigated by FBI, U.S. attorney in Brooklyn

Feb 18, 2021 6:33 am
Brendan J. Lyons reports for the Times Union that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn are both now investigating how Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's coronavirus task force handled COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during the pandemic. The U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn on Feb. 17 would not "confirm or deny" any investigation. But the Cuomo administration did. "As we publicly said, (the Department of Justice) has been looking into this for months," said Richard Azzopardi, a spokesperson for the governor. "We have been cooperating with them and we will continue to." Last month Democratic state Attorney General Letitia James reported about the Cuomo administration’s failure to properly count nursing home residents' deaths at hospitals. Then the state Health Department released records showing more than 9,000 recovering coronavirus patients in New York were sent from hospitals into nursing homes in the pandemic's early months. Then last week Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa told Democratic state lawmakers that the count of nursing home residents' deaths at hospitals was delayed because New York officials worried that the information was “going to be used against us” by the Trump administration’s Department of Justice. The investigation reached the halls of Congress Feb. 17, with Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley urging President Joe Biden to allow Antoinette Bacon, the acting U.S. attorney in New York's Northern District, to be assigned to investigate Cuomo's administration. Bacon is a late-term appointee of former President Donald Trump, who the Biden administration might remove from office. Read more about this story in the Times Union.