Cuomo defends data release delay on COVID deaths in New York nursing homes
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday he took responsibility for his administration's delay in releasing data of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and admitted it "created pain," but added "nothing was hidden from anyone."
Why it matters: Some state lawmakers are looking to repeal the governor's emergency powers amid allegations of a cover-up over the data.
- Democratic N.Y. State Sen. John Liu told Fox News Monday lawmakers were looking to "inspire public confidence" and the nursing home revelations "don't add to the confidence."
Driving the news: The New York Post last week obtained leaked audio of a Cuomo aide saying his administration had rejected a request for nursing homes data on coronavirus deaths because it could "be used against us" by federal investigators encouraged by then-President Trump.
What he's saying: Cuomo acknowledged during a briefing that the data delay created a "void" that was "filled with skepticism, cynicism and conspiracy theories, which furthered confusion."
- "In retrospect, should we have given more priority to fulfilling information requests? In my opinion, yes, and I think that’s what created the void," the third-term governor said.
- "But do I understand the pressure everyone was under? Yes."
For the record: New York's Democratic Attorney General Letitia James released a report last month accusing Cuomo's administration of undercounting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by up to 50%.
- Asked by a reporter at the briefing whether an investigation into his administration's handling of the pandemic would "clear the air," Cuomo said: "I don't think there is anything to clear here."
- "It is a fact that the state legislature did a request, we told them we were not going to address the request at that time, that we were going to honor the DOJ request first," he added. "We said that ― that's a fact. There’s nothing to investigate there."
Of note: State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, who's among the 14 N.Y. Democratic lawmakers seeking to repeal the governor's powers, rejected Cuomo's claims: