Democrats threw former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo under the bus. Now they are backing over the body. According to the state’s new governor, Kathy Hochul, Cuomo withheld at least 12,000 deaths from the state’s count. These are deaths that occurred in nursing homes as well as others. This disclosure brings the state’s death total to 55,400 as opposed to the previously reported 43,400.
“We’re now releasing more data than had been released before publicly, so people know the nursing home deaths and the hospital deaths are consistent with what’s being displayed by the CDC,” Hochul told MSNBC. “There’s a lot of things that weren’t happening and I’m going to make them happen. Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration.”
She also told NPR that the updated numbers included both confirmed and presumed deaths. The Cuomo administration used totals that excluded those who died outside hospitals, nursing homes, adult facilities, and those without a positive test. Hochul will use the CDC count, which uses death certificate data to count the number of COVID-19 deaths.
Related: Andrew Cuomo’s Shameless Resignation
It bears mentioning that Hochul was the lieutenant governor during the COVID-19 crisis. Over the last several months, stories of Cuomo and his top aides threatening and bullying whistleblowers have emerged. It is not known how much Hochul knew before the January 28 report alleging that the Cuomo administration undercounted nursing home deaths by as much as 50%.
Since Cuomo’s resignation, Hochul has asserted that she was not part of the former governor’s inner circle. In a press conference on August 11, she committed to removing any unethical staff involved in pressuring Cuomo’s accusers or other questionable behavior. She also noted: “I think it’s very clear that the governor and I have not been close, physically or otherwise, in terms of much time. And so I’ve been traveling the state and do not spend much time in his presence or in the presence of many in the state Capitol.”
In March, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported that the total number of nursing home deaths was undercounted by approximately 3,000. The state’s nursing home reporting did not count residents who went from nursing homes to hospitals and died there. It only tracked those who passed away in long-term care facilities in those cases. This accounting method helped mask the true impact of Governor Cuomo’s policy that sent COVID-19 positive patients back to facilities full of high-risk residents.
Recommended: Jen Psaki Hasn’t Earned the Right to Snark at Anyone
The Trump administration Department of Justice had opened an investigation into the Cuomo administration’s actions amid the nursing home scandal. He was not the only governor with a nursing home problem. Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania had similar policies and stand accused of covering up the impact. The Biden DOJ quietly ended the investigations into all of these Democrat administrations right before an explosive report was released by Attorney General Letitia James outlining allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo.
Affected families still want answers, and many, like Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, want accountability. Cuomo’s resignation leaves several legal questions open. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are investigating the Cuomo administration’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes and the cover-up. Five district attorneys in the state are looking into the alleged sexual harassment contained in James’s report. Observers expect at least one accuser to file a civil suit against Cuomo. While Cuomo may be held accountable for something, it likely won’t be for his COVID-19 actions.