The Cuomo administration’s decision to conceal the number of COVID-19 deaths among New York state nursing home residents could open the governor to criminal charges, according to former Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General John B. Daukas.
The “Cuomo administration’s alleged misreporting of nursing-home deaths in New York is serious, perhaps meriting federal criminal charges,” Daukas wrote in a piece published in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
Daukas say the Governors executive order on March 25, 2020 requiring New York nursing homes to admit hospitalized patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 “led to many more tragic and unnecessary deaths than were reported to the public.”
“And his administration appears to have engaged in a coverup designed to frustrate the federal government’s oversight efforts,” Daukas wrote.
On February 11th, the New York Post had reported that Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers over a decision to withhold the state’s nursing-home COVID-19 death toll out of fear that it would be “used against us” by the Trump Justice Department.
“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 reportedly said during a private zoom call.
“We froze,” DeRosa said.
It was also revealed in a report from the Associated Press that that the Cuomo administration sent over 9,000 elderly coronavirus patients back to their long-term care centers while the administration reported these facilities had only admitted 6,000 patients.
As we highlighted last week, a group of Republican Senators had penned a letter demanding a full investigation into the recent revelations that Cuomo’s administration may have deliberately covered-up nursing home deaths.
The letter would label the action of hiding the death data as “very possible criminal.”
“These new revelations, however, that Governor Cuomo’s administration withheld information from the Department of Justice and intentionally misled federal officials to avoid political accountability is more than irresponsible: it is very possibly criminal,” the GOP letter goes on, adding:
“Those who deliberately withheld—or directed others to withhold—material
information from the Department of Justice may be guilty of obstruction of justice, violating the
False Claims Act, and numerous other criminal violations.”
Daily Caller further reports:
The State of New York only counted coronavirus patients who died in nursing homes as coronavirus deaths, unlike every other state. The other 49 states count any individual who contracted coronavirus in a nursing home and subsequently died from it as a nursing home death, even if the person died in the hospital.
New York political figures are also investigating the nursing home order. State Attorney General Letitia James found that the Cuomo Administration deliberately under-counted nursing home deaths by as much as 50%.
The state legislature is “inching toward” impeaching Cuomo for the nursing home scandal, Queens Democrat Ron Kim said Feb. 19. Kim said Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him in a private phone call at the state assemblyman’s home if Kim did not stop asking questions and publicly criticizing the governor’s handling of the nursing home data.
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The post Prosecutor: Cuomo’s Decision to Hide COVID Deaths May ‘Merit Federal Criminal Charges’ appeared first on Planet Free Will.
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