CNN host Brian Stelter has avoided covering allegations New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration covered up the COVID-19 death toll in New York’s nursing homes, reports Fox News.
The governor's brother, Chris Cuomo, who also hosts a show on CNN, has avoided mentioning the scandal on air or in his tweets, Fox noted. Chris Cuomo did have his brother on air months ago to tout how well he was handling the COVID crisis, however.
The governor’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, last week during a private conference call with Democratic lawmakers admitted that data was withheld on nursing homes, where more than 13,000 people have died in the pandemic in the state.
DeRosa’s admission came when she was asked about delays in giving lawmakers nursing home death data. She said the Cuomo administration was afraid that the data on the deaths would be “used against us,” by the Department of Justice by then-President Donald Trump.
Lawmakers from both parties have since called for stripping the governor of the emergency powers he has exercised during the pandemic, while Republicans have called for his resignation.
Cuomo was already facing criticism after the state’s attorney general accused his administration of undercounting nursing-home deaths.
The governor’s office released a transcript of the call on Friday morning and DeRosa released a statement.
"I was explaining that when we received the DOJ inquiry, we needed to temporarily set aside the Legislature's request to deal with the federal request first," DeRosa wrote. "We informed the houses of this at the time. We were comprehensive and transparent in our responses to the DOJ, and then had to immediately focus our resources on the second wave and vaccine rollout.
She added: "As I said on a call with legislators, we could not fulfill their request as quickly as anyone would have liked."
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