Scandal-plagued New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been hit by a new bombshell report that his top aides altered the data on the number of nursing home residents who died in the pandemic.
The latest developments were reported late Thursday by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal .
According to the report, Cuomo's top aides, concerned about state health officials' numbers, fudged the data.
The number, more than 9,000 by June, the Times says, was not yet public. The aides rewrote the report to take the figure out, the Times said, citing interviews and documents.
The report in July focused only on residents who died in long-term care facilities, leaving out those who died in hospitals after becoming sick in nursing homes, the Journal said.
The report said 6,432 nursing-home residents died from the outbreak, which was a significant undercount of the death toll attributed to the state's most vulnerable population, the Journal added, citing sources with knowledge of the report's production.
"The out-of-facility data was omitted after DOH (Department of Health) could not confirm it had been adequately verified," Beth Garvey, a special counsel and senior adviser to Cuomo, told the Journal and the Times late Thursday, claiming the additional data did not change the report's conclusion.
After the state attorney general revealed recently that thousands of nursing home resident deaths had been undercounted, Cuomo finally released the complete count, saying he had withheld it out of concern that the Trump administration might use it for political purposes against the state.
The Times report suggests that Cuomo and his aides began concealing the data much earlier.
This unfolded even as Cuomo, now also at the center of an expanding scandal involving allegations of sexual harassment, was starting work on a book touting his achievements in the pandemic.
This report contains material from Reuters.
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