The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn are targeting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration and its handling of New York’s nursing homes during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agencies are investigating the governor’s coronavirus task force, according to a report Wednesday from the Albany Times-Union.
There is no accusation of wrongdoing at this point regarding Cuomo or the administration. Task force members include New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa.
The criticism directed at Cuomo over his handling of the crisis targeted the governor’s March 25, 2020, memo directing nursing homes to accept recovering COVID-19 patients at their facilities, an order that later was rescinded.
It was DeRosa who seemingly admitted the administration withheld information related to COVID-19-related deaths at nursing homes.
The critics certainly include New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who on Thursday called out Cuomo for his bullying tactics aimed at playing down his handling of the coronavirus death toll in nursing homes.
“It’s a sad thing to say … but that’s classic Andrew Cuomo,” de Blasio said on MSNBC. “A lot of people in New York state have received those phone calls.”
In a New York Daily News story, Assemblyman Ron T. Kim (D-Queens) is said to have reported Cuomo berated him at length, trying to urge the lawmaker to soften criticism of the nursing home COVID scandal.
There is a hint of a soap opera in the report, with Kim saying Cuomo threatened to “destroy him” if he didn’t back down.
This exchange is only the latest dark period in the testy relationship between de Blasio and Cuomo, who have had a series of issues over the past few years.