During the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s office hid the number of deaths in nursing homes for at least five months.

According to interviews and documents reviewed by the New York Times, the actual death toll was hidden from the public by state health officials due to orders from Cuomo’s senior adviser.

In January, New York Attorney General Letitia James accused the Cuomo administration of undercounting the nursing home deaths, resulting in the undercounting of thousands.

To avoid political conflict with the former Trump administration, Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa revealed to lawmakers that the administration was sitting on more accurate data.

Cuomo is currently facing an investigation into the alleged false nursing home data, sparked by an executive order on March 25.

The order mandated that nursing home patients who tested positive for the coronavirus and were hospitalized were to be discharged back into the nursing homes, as long as the providers had the ability to take care of them.

The capacity of hospitals to take new patients was a major concern at the start of the pandemic, leaving nursing home staff conflicted because of the potential for recently hospitalized residents to spread the virus while contagious.

Cuomo is facing several sexual harassment allegations and new reports claim that he gave his family special access to COVID-19 testing early in the pandemic.

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