A string of sexual misconduct claims against Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has somewhat shifted the spotlight away from his prior scandal related to COVID-related nursing home deaths.
Recent reports, however, indicate that the FBI is now investigating the Cuomo administration over evidence suggesting that it underreported the death toll of nursing home residents infected with the pandemic virus.
According to The New York Times, FBI agents have been in contact with attorneys representing top Cuomo aides and subpoenaed the governor’s office for related documents.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn previously initiated a probe into the matter, reportedly looking into the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities over the course of the COVID-19 crisis.
As the Times noted, however, new details are now available regarding the ongoing investigation.
Although Cuomo received widespread praise for his leadership during the early days of the pandemic, a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James earlier this year sparked harsh criticism by showing that the governor’s office underreported the state’s COVID-related nursing home deaths by as much as 50%.
The report also suggested that the governor’s nursing home policy, which instructed nursing homes to readmit patients who had been diagnosed with the virus, likely facilitated its spread among the vulnerable elderly demographic.
A subsequent article by the New York Post detailed a conference call in which Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, acknowledged that the administration actively downplayed the true death toll.
She attempted to excuse the behavior, however, claiming that the governor’s staff “froze” in response to uncertainties surrounding the Trump administration’s policies and behavior.
Of course, Cuomo is simultaneously facing increased pressure to resign over a growing number of sexual harassment claims that have been made against him in recent weeks.
“I’m not going to resign,” he said in response to calls for his ouster. “I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people. People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and the truth.”
Despite two major scandals plaguing his administration, the governor has thus far managed to hold on to his job. Given his defiant attitude, it seems unlikely that he will voluntarily step down — at least until the findings of these ongoing investigations are released.