Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

New York Gov., Andrew Cuomo during an October news conference in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration is under investigation by the FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn over its handling of COVID-19 nursing home deaths, the Albany Times-Union first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: The news comes as N.Y. state lawmakers begin efforts to repeal the Democratic governor's pandemic emergency powers after it was revealed his administration delayed releasing data of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, prompting allegations of a cover-up.

The big picture: The New York Post obtained audio of a Cuomo aide saying a request for the nursing homes data was rejected because it could "be used against us" by federal investigators encouraged by then-President Trump.

  • Cuomo was widely praised for his coronavirus response early in the pandemic, but now the New York State Senate is expected to vote on stripping Cuomo of his emergency powers as early as next week, per the New York Times.
  • New York's Democratic Attorney General Letitia James released a report last month accusing his administration of undercounting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by up to 50%.

Of note: New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D) alleged earlier Wednesday that Cuomo threatened to "destroy" him over comments he made about the nursing home deaths scandal.

What saying: When asked about the investigation, Richard Azzopardi, senior adviser to Cuomo, told Axios: "As we publicly said, the DOJ has been looking into this for months. We have been cooperating with them and we will continue to."

  • Cuomo said last Monday that he took responsibility for his administration's delay in releasing data of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, But he added: "There’s nothing to investigate here."
  • The FBI and Department of Justice did not immediately respond to Axios' requests for comment.

Go deeper

Feb 17, 2021 - Health

Cuomo allegedly threatened a state lawmaker over nursing home scandal

Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D) said Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) threatened to "destroy" him over comments he made about the state's widening scandal on COVID-related nursing home deaths, CNN reported.

The big picture: Cuomo has come under intense scrutiny over his handling of the state's nursing homes during the pandemic, prompting widespread criticism and a damning report from the state's attorney general that found the health department significantly undercounted the number of deaths in nursing homes.

How countries amplify COVID disinformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China, Russia and Iran — drawing on one another’s online disinformation — amplified false theories that the COVID-19 virus originated in a U.S. bioweapons lab or was designed by Washington to weaken their countries, according to a nine-month investigation by AP and the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab.

Why it matters: Through a series of overlapping, if slapdash, efforts, America's global adversaries benefited from mutually reinforcing counter-narratives propagated online that aimed to falsely place responsibility for the pandemic on the U.S. and often to sow doubt on its actual origin within China.

Feb 17, 2021 - Health

Testing and tracing "win" sees New Zealand city lockdown end despite COVID cases

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives at a news conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, New Zealand, on Wednesday. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Wednesday Auckland's snap lockdown will end at midnight.

Why it matters: Officials confirmed two new COVID-19 community cases Wednesday. Ardern told reporters test results show "we don't have a widespread outbreak, but rather a small chain of transmission," centering around an Auckland high school, "which is manageable."