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The New York Times reported April 28 that top aides to Governor Cuomo for five months blocked state health officials, including Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, from disclosing the true death toll among state nursing-home residents as a result of the coronavirus.
They prevented the numbers from being incorporated in a Health Department report last summer, and thwarted department officials from providing the data to state legislators.
It became public in January, when State Attorney General Letitia James, who Mr. Cuomo may have assumed would keep quiet because he helped get her elected in 2018, released figures showing that the death count was 3,400 greater than the administration's number.
In response to The Times story, the Governor and his aides have just kept on spinning. Last June, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa headed off a department report that would have cast her boss's efforts in a less-glowing light than his daily media briefings generated, writing it "Needs to be able to stand up to scrutiny and definitively tell the story."
But as The Times story stated, an early draft, putting the death count at 9,739, was just about 100 fewer than the figure that later came to light—and more than 50 percent higher than the Governor's "official" tally.
It has become increasingly clear that the real problem was that the truth would not have been flattering to Mr. Cuomo. The continued spinning as the ground gives way under him just puts him in a deeper hole.