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Andrew Cuomo misrepresented number of nursing home residents who died from COVID, report says

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Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has misrepresented and manipulated the number of nursing home residents who have died in the Empire State as a result of COVID-19, according to a state MP who sits on the committee reviewing the still-secret report.

Councilor Phil Steck is one of the members of the Judiciary Committee that reviewed the nearly 45-page report, compiled by New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, on Thursday and Friday before it was released to the public.

The report could be made public as early as next week.

The report itself would cover everything from Cuomo’s allegations of sexual harassment to claims by his staff that he helped write his book on the Coronavirus pandemic.

A lesser-known part of the report includes the Cuomo administration’s misrepresentation of COVID-19 data regarding the death toll of nursing home residents in the Empire State and the manipulation of numbers as presented to the public.

According to a still-secret investigative report, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo misrepresented the number of nursing home residents who died as a result of COVID-19 in the photo.

Pictured: New York State Attorney General Letitia James led the first investigation into Cuomo's misconduct during his tenure, leading to allegations that he groped a former female aide

Pictured: New York State Attorney General Letitia James led the first investigation into Cuomo’s misconduct during his tenure, leading to allegations that he groped a former female aide

Nursing home residents wait online to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a Harlem nursing home.  A state report claims Cuomo has misrepresented COVID-19 death toll for nursing centers

Nursing home residents wait online to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a Harlem nursing home. A state report claims Cuomo has misrepresented COVID-19 death toll for nursing centers

The gaps in the state’s COVID-19 death accounting records include the decision to exclude the total mortality from nursing homes of thousands of residents who died after being moved from the homes to the hospital, according to reports in August.

That report came at the same time that Cuomo stepped down in disgrace, likely to avoid impeachment in the wake of a separate investigation led by two independent investigators hired by the state’s attorney general, which found he had sexually harassed 11 women in office.

The report’s researchers included details that the Department of Health had specifically requested that data on hospital deaths related to the COVID-19 death toll in the state’s nursing home.

“The investigation showed that while they were thinking about these matters, the book deal was going on, there’s a chapter in the book about nursing homes,” said the legislator, a Democrat who represents part of the Albany area in Upstate New York.

“They tried to make it what they thought would be the least harmful to the governor, instead of just telling the truth.”

Cuomo, pictured, resigned from office in disgrace in August, likely to avoid impeachment in the wake of a separate investigation that found he sexually harassed 11 women in office

Cuomo, pictured, resigned from office in disgrace in August, likely to avoid impeachment in the wake of a separate investigation that found he sexually harassed 11 women in office

Health officials said excluding nursing home data wasn't done to make the state's coronavirus death toll look better than it was, nor to protect Cuomo's reputation

Health officials said excluding nursing home data wasn’t done to make the state’s coronavirus death toll look better than it was, nor to protect Cuomo’s reputation

Administration officials in Cuomo's office acknowledged that totals of nursing home deaths were incomplete at the time, arguing how much time it would take to verify data.

Administration officials in Cuomo’s office acknowledged that totals of nursing home deaths were incomplete at the time, arguing how much time it would take to verify data.

Assembly Member Mary Beth Walsh, a Republican, said the timing of Cuomo’s abrupt resignation hindered investigative efforts to interview witnesses about the misrepresentation and manipulation of the nursing home’s COVID data.

“I believe the timing of the governor’s resignation has actually somewhat curtailed the investigation and ability to investigate that,” said Walsh, whose district includes parts of Saratoga and Schenectady counties.

“Several individuals who were to be subpoenaed did not cooperate after the governor’s resignation.”

However, administration officials in Cuomo’s office acknowledged that the total number of deaths in the state’s nursing home was not complete at the time, arguing that it would take a long time to verify the vast amount of data.

Meanwhile, health officials said the data exclusion was not done to make the state’s coronavirus death toll look better than it was, nor in an effort to protect Cuomo’s reputation.

Cuomo has steadfastly denied touching anyone inappropriately since news of the allegations initially emerged

Cuomo has steadfastly denied touching anyone inappropriately since news of the allegations initially emerged

On Friday, Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, said the former government has not yet seen a copy of the Assembly’s report, while pointing out the results could be “one-sided”.

“The Assembly Judiciary Committee has chosen not to discuss their findings with us, which is their prerogative, but again it could lead to a one-sided report,” Azzopardi said.

Assembly member Walsh claimed the report contained “overwhelming evidence” that the former governor sexually harassed the women who came forward.

Cuomo, who is currently charged with groping a female assistant, has steadfastly denied touching anyone inappropriately since news of the allegations initially emerged.

The report also looks at Cuomo’s $5.1 million book deal, which Steck says was “very clear,” adding that the then governor violated terms set forth by the state’s ethics committee, which banned Cuomo from being staff to write the book.

The ethics committee withdrew their approval of Cuomo’s book deal this week, an act that Walsh said could “open the door” to further fines for the disgraced former governor.

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