Cuomo aide admits to hiding data about nursing home deaths

At the end of January, we learned that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Wuhan virus policies when the disease first hit his state killed approximately 50% more elderly people than his administration had first acknowledged. That information just got worse with word that one of his top aides apologized to the state’s Democrat legislators for deliberately lying about the nursing home death toll. They had to lie, she explained, because President Trump was after them for killing “everyone in nursing homes.”

Within a very short time of the Wuhan virus’s accelerated appearance in America last year, it was obvious that the elderly were the most likely to die from the virus. Nevertheless, Andrew Cuomo mandated that group homes housing the elderly (retirement communities, long-term care facilities, etc.), accept from hospitals patients diagnosed with the Wuhan virus.

He did this even though President Trump moved with incredible rapidity to bring a hospital ship to New York City and to build temporary hospitals in the city. It’s tempting to speculate about Cuomo’s decision-making, which was sure to kill the elderly in his state, but I won’t. I’ll just say that there is no scenario that makes him look anything other than grossly negligent or actively malignant.

By July, the data that New York state released showed that the virus had killed 6,400 elderly people. That’s why, in August, the Department of Justice began investigating New York, along with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Said the DOJ, “New York has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, with 32,592 victims, many of them elderly.”

At the end of July, thanks to the fact that the New York attorney general, Letitia James, might be planning to challenge Cuomo from the left, we learned that this number was off by more than 130%. Apparently, Cuomo’s policies killed as many as 15,049 elderly citizens in his state.

With this pile-up of horrific news about New York’s Emmy award-winning governor, one would think things couldn’t get worse. One would be wrong.

On Thursday, news broke that Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, one of Cuomo’s top aides, confessed during a video conference call with the state’s Democrat legislators that New York deliberately undercounted the death toll to avoid federal scrutiny. She hastened to assure the legislators, though, this was Trump’s fault. He was breathing down their necks so they had to do something – and, apparently, that something was to lie:

The stunning admission of a cover-up was made by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting.

“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.”

In addition to attacking Cuomo’s fellow Democratic governors, DeRosa said, Trump “directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.”

“And basically, we froze,” she told the lawmakers on the call.

“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.”

DeRosa added: “That played a very large role into this.”

The New York Post, from which the above-quoted information comes, makes an additional excellent point about DeRosa’s confession. At no point has the Cuomo administration ever shown any remorse for the fact that it condemned 10,000 elderly people to an early death and, worse, a lonely death, isolated from those who loved them. Instead, she “tried to make amends with the fellow Democrats for the political inconvenience it 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.”

One of the virtues of the past year, including the dismal start to 2021, is that it is a time of tremendous clarity. We can see that Democrats have one over-riding value: political power at any cost.

We’re also beginning to grasp that most of the Republicans for whom we voted are more invested in collegiality and, possibly, money from the tech companies and from China than they are in defending Americans and our country's constitutional values. Information is power and we’re getting flooded with it right now.

IMAGE: Melissa DeRosa. YouTube screengrab.