- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 4, 2021

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly began covering up the COVID-19 death toll almost as soon as the epidemic of nursing-home deaths began.

According to a New York Times report Thursday night, Mr. Cuomo’s aides rewrote a report from state health officials to take out the fact that more than 9,000 patients had died in the state through June.

“The extraordinary intervention, which came just as Mr. Cuomo was starting to write a book on his pandemic achievements, was the earliest act yet known in what critics have called a monthslong effort by the governor and his aides to obscure the full scope of nursing home deaths,” The Times reported.

Mr. Cuomo had issued a non-discrimination order requiring that the state’s nursing home accept patients who had tested positive for COVID-19, a move that has been harshly criticized as turning nursing homes into death houses.

The state attorney general had revealed undercounts in a report earlier this year, but Mr. Cuomo said he had withheld the accurate data for political reasons — saying the Trump administration might pursue an inquiry.

According to the Times, even that claim, whatever its merits, isn’t true.

This June concealment happened “months earlier, as his aides were battling their own top health officials, and well before requests for data arrived from federal authorities,” the Times wrote.

The paper said its story was based on “documents and interviews with six people with direct knowledge of the discussions, who requested anonymity to describe the closed-door debates.”

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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