Martucci calls for special prosecutor to investigate nursing home COVID deaths

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's political troubles intensified Friday, as he faced the fallout from the latest bombshell in the widening nursing home scandal that has engulfed his administration: an admission from one of his top lieutenants that his office withheld information from the New York legislature because they were afraid that former President Donald Trump would tweet negatively about the governor's efforts if the information became public.

AP Wire Services were used in this report.

In recent weeks, a court order and state attorney general report has forced the state to acknowledge the nursing home resident death toll is almost 15,000, when it was previously reported as 8,500 - a number that excluded residents who died after being taken to hospitals. Liu, John Mannion, Rachel May, Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Gustavo Rivera, Julia Salazar, James Sanders, and James Skoufis called on legislators to revoke emergency powers given to the governor in the pandemic's early days.

One of Cuomo's top advisors Rich Azzapardi responded to the Post report, doubling-down on the fear of federal retaliation. We informed the houses of this at the time. I expect the Department and administration to promptly fulfill all future information requests from the legislature.

Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa confessed the coverup in a virtual meeting with state Democrat leaders, claiming Cuomo's administration "froze" when they discovered the potential of a federal investigation and prosecution into their controversial and deadly COVID-19 policy.

James had, for months, been examining discrepancies between the number of deaths being reported by the state's Department of Health, and the number of deaths reported by the homes themselves.

More than 15,000 people connected to NY nursing homes have died in the state due to the pandemic, according to new data from the state Health Department. "But we are committed to being better partners going forward as we share the same goal of keeping New Yorkers as healthy as possible during the pandemic".

While state officials have said the state was simply following federal guidelines and that the spread of the virus in nursing homes is mainly due to asymptomatic staff, other health experts say that tit likely led to more infections and deaths.

Cuomo was one of several governors from both parties in Washington Friday to meet with President Joe Biden as part of a White House push to give financial relief from the coronavirus pandemic to state and local governments.

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