The FBI and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have begun a preliminary investigation into how New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration dealt with nursing house residents who contracted COVID-19 within the early months of the pandemic, an individual acquainted with the matter informed CBS Information.
Cuomo senior adviser Richard Azzopardi mentioned solely that the Justice Division “has been trying into this for months,” including, “we have now been cooperating with them and can proceed to.” The investigation was first reported by the Albany Occasions Union.
The FBI and the U.S. lawyer’s workplace for the Japanese District of New York declined to remark.
The Cuomo administration has confronted important criticism after the state was compelled to reveal that the COVID-19 loss of life toll for nursing house residents is almost 15,000. The state had beforehand mentioned solely 8,500 nursing house residents died from the virus — however that quantity didn’t embody residents who died after they had been taken to the hospital.
Cuomo admitted Monday that his failure to be open concerning the nursing house deaths fostered confusion and incorrect conclusions.
“The void we created by not offering info was stuffed by skepticism and cynicism and conspiracy theories which furthered confusion… you do not present the data, one thing will present the data,” Cuomo mentioned. “Most of all, the void we created allowed disinformation.”
Prime Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa mentioned late final week that the administration “froze” when the info wasby each state lawmakers and by the Justice Division.
“Principally, we froze as a result of then we had been ready the place we weren’t certain if what we had been going to present to the Division of Justice or what we give to you guys and what we begin saying was going for use towards us,”Wednesday.
Cuomo has additionally confronted criticism for the state well being division’s March 2020 resolution to return residents with COVID-19 from hospitals to nursing houses. That order was later reversed.
Cuomo has mentioned this was in step with federal pointers on the time, when the highest precedence was protecting hospitals from being overrun. He mentioned sufferers had been solely obtained at nursing houses if a given house verified it was in a position to settle for them, as required by New York regulation.
Among the many 613 nursing houses in New York, Cuomo mentioned 365 obtained a affected person from a hospital. He additionally mentioned that 98% of the houses already had COVID-19 of their services.
For months final 12 months, Cuomo’s every day coronavirus briefings on cable and stay streams had been a preferred supply of details about the dealing with of the pandemic and. However now, Cuomo is being criticized by each Republican and Democratic lawmakers — a few of whom have referred to as to finish his emergency powers.
Pat Milton and Caroline Linton contributed to this report.