The FBI and US attorney’s office in Brooklyn have begun an investigation into how New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration handled the state’s nursing home crisis during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report Wednesday.
The investigation is not yet far along and is focused on top members of Cuomo’s coronavirus task force, the Albany Times-Union reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter. Neither Cuomo nor any administration official has at this point been accused of any wrongdoing.
Members of Cuomo’s task force include New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa. The latter drew scrutiny this month after she seemingly admitted the governor’s team withheld information related to COVID-19-related deaths at nursing homes.
“As we publicly said, DOJ has been looking into this for months. We have been cooperating with them and we will continue to,” Cuomo senior advisor Rich Azzopardi said in a statement.
It is not clear whether Azzopardi’s statement refers to the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s probe, which the Times-Union describes as “in its early stages.” Azzopardi’s statement did not specify whether Cuomo’s office was in touch with FBI or US Attorney officials regarding a fresh investigation.
A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn told the Times-Union he could neither confirm nor deny that an investigation was underway.
Cuomo has faced bipartisan scrutiny over his handling of the nursing home crisis. Critics have focused on Cuomo’s March 25 memo directing nursing homes to accept recovering COVID-19 patients at their facilities. The order was later rescinded.
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