News that Gov. Cuomo’s office had radically understated the number of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes last year deflated his media image as a straight-talking teller of home truths. Now The Post has reported that the governor covered up the extent of the problem specifically because his office didn’t want President Trump to “turn this into a giant political football” by instructing the Department of Justice to investigate Cuomo’s handling of the situation.
In other words, Cuomo buried evidence and impeded a federal investigation, hoping a new administration would leave him alone.
Last March, Cuomo’s state health commissioner, Howard Zucker, signed a decree ordering nursing homes to admit or readmit COVID patients released from hospitals, even if they remained infectious. The decision was made amid fears that hospital emergency rooms and intensive-care units would be overrun by the desperately sick; moving stabilized patients into care facilities appeared to be the least bad option.
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