An aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo admitted that they hid nursing home data on coronavirus infections after former President Donald Trump began pressuring them on Twitter.
Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa apologized to state Democratic leaders about the cover-up in a video conference call, according to a two hour recording reviewed by the New York Post.
DeRosa also appeared to pass the blame onto Trump by claiming that they were scared by his tweets.
“[R]ight around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” she said on the recording.
“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa continued. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”
“And basically, we froze,” she said.
DeRosa said that Trump directing the Department of Justice to look into the matter forced them to hide the numbers.
“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 added.
DeRosa apologized, not to the families of the thousands of people who died of coronavirus in nursing homes, but to the state’s Democrats for the political inconvenience of their cover-up.
“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.”
A spokesperson for Cuomo’s office released a statement about the report:
We explained that the Trump administration was in the midst of a politically motivated effort to blame democratic states for COVID deaths and that we were cooperating with Federal document productions and that was the priority and now that it is over we can address the state legislature.
That said, we were working simultaneously to complete the audit of information they were asking for.
The bombshell dropped on the same day as a damaging report by the Associated Press that documented how the New York state health department underreported the true numbers of coronavirus patients sent to nursing homes under Cuomo’s order.
Here’s more about the stunning admission from DeRosa:
Cuomo aide admits hiding COVID nursing home data from the feds