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Cuomo defends himself against charges his administration manipulated COVID-19 data

Feb 16, 2021 6:33 am
The Daily Freeman reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo took questions from the media Feb. 15, the first time since allegations that the state manipulated COVID-19 data got backed up by an audio admission from one of his staffers. “All the deaths in the nursing homes and hospitals were always fully, publicly and accurately reported,” the Democratic governor claimed during the press conference, which was at least partially televised by Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. Cuomo claimed that New York officials did not cover up deaths, but should have released more information sought by lawmakers, the public, and the media. “We should have done a better job of providing as much information as we could as quickly as we could,” he said. “No excuses. I accept responsibility for that.” But without backing up his allegations, Cuomo blamed “disinformation” for folks criticizing him. Actually, there is much actual information. 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. Still, Cuomo defended his actions. “When we didn’t provide information, it allowed press, people, cynics, politicians, to fill the void," he said, and “it created confusion and cynicism and pain for the families. The truth is, everybody did everything they could.” Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.