Gov. Cuomo says state should have released nursing home data faster, but says there is no cover-up

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state should have been more transparent about nursing home deaths from the coronavirus, but says there is no cover-up.
The governor says not releasing information faster on nursing homes was a “mistake,” but he did not apologize at Friday’s press conference.
New York Attorney General Letitia James says the state’s nursing home death toll was nearly 15,000; a number far greater than the 8,500 originally reported by the governor’s office. Cuomo says no deaths were unreported, but those who were in nursing homes but died in a hospital were not included in the original data.
A top aide to Gov. Cuomo, however, admitted that the state “froze” in release the full count of fatalities in nursing homes during the summer out of fear that former President Donald Trump would use it for a political investigation.
There is now renewed scrutiny regarding the state’s policy to send nearly 10,000 recovering coronavirus patients in New York from hospitals to nursing homes.
New York State Health Department Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says that the state made the “right public health decision at the time.” He says faced with the same facts, they would make the same decisions.
There are now questions around whether state legislators will strip Cuomo of emergency executive powers he was granted at the start of the pandemic.
Legislators on both sides of the aisle, like State Sen. Sue Serino who represents the 41st District, are still not satisfied with Cuomo’s words.
“I’m shocked,” Serino, a Republican, says. “You know, I had family members that were texting me and saying ‘I can’t believe he’s not apologizing and he’s pointing the blame.’ And it was just terrible.”
The governor also proposed a series of nursing home reforms in the budget, including more transparency, holding operators accountable for misconduct and prioritizing patient care over profit.
The FBI and US Attorney’s Officer in Brooklyn are investigating.