Gov. Cuomo has faced criticism since early 2020 over his highly controversial decision to direct NY nursing homes to accept COVID-19 positive patients and those showing symptoms of COVID-19.
The results of an investigation released last month by NY Attorney General Letitia James revealed that the Cuomo administration underreported COVID-19 related nursing home deaths by as much as 56%.
During a leaked video call obtained by the New York Post, NY Gov. Cuomo’s secretary Melissa DeRosa told NY Democrats that the administration covered up COVID-19 nursing home deaths because they feared the data could “be used against us” by the Dept. of Justice.
According to the New York Post, Sec. DeRosa blamed former President Trump for the Cuomo administration’s decision to cover up the deaths, stating, “He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa said. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”
She then says Trump “directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us. And basically, we froze.”
“Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” she went on to say.
Sec. DeRosa then made an apology to Democrats for the political inconvenience the scandal caused them: “So we do apologize,” she said. “I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans.”
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) announced Friday that he will file a criminal complaint against Sec. DeRosa, and is calling for her arrest: “I’m going to be looking at filing a personal criminal complaint against this individual today in local law enforcement offices as well as federal offices because she needs to be arrested today.”