Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted during a Monday press conference that he did nothing wrong in his handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic and would not resign from his position.
Cuomo said that the investigation into his handling of nursing homes “was a political investigation started by Donald Trump.” He insisted that the former president politicized nursing home policies during the pandemic and unfairly blamed Democratic governors for cases and deaths in nursing homes.
“It was all our fault,” Cuomo said. “And then had his political Department of Justice start an investigation. And they were a political Department of Justice, there’s no doubt about that.” (RELATED: ‘Specials’: Cuomo Prioritized COVID-19 Testing For His Own Relatives, Other VIPs During Shortage)
“I did nothing wrong … period,” the governor added. “And I’m not resigning and I’m doing my job every day.”
Questions about Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic arose when the Daily Caller News Foundation revealed in May of 2020 that the governor’s office had purposefully undercounted nursing home deaths. Recent reports showed that the scale of data manipulation continued for several months and was more extensive than first alleged.
The New York Times reported April 28 that Cuomo’s aides purposefully prevented state health officials from releasing the true number of nursing home deaths to the public. The effort took place over five months in 2020.
One study found that 35% of all coronavirus deaths were in nursing homes by July of 2020, but the published report said that the number was 21%. Cuomo’s aides also put immense pressure to prevent a report from State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker from being sent to the state assembly speaker while they were investigating nursing home deaths, according to the Times. Zucker’s letter said that a total of 9,835 nursing home residents had died from coronavirus.
Elkan Abramowitz, a lawyer representing Cuomo’s office, told The New York Times that the administration was “reluctant” to release unreliable information and called the situation “overblown.”