Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended his administration’s decision to delay releasing data on Covid-19 deaths in long-term care facilities as state lawmakers say they are considering repealing the governor’s emergency powers.
Cuomo said the Department of Health had "paused" the state lawmakers’ request for the data because they prioritized a related inquiry from the Department of Justice. He said both chambers of the state Legislature were told about this at the time.
In addition, he said the Department of Health had largely put data requests on the back burner and prioritized dealing with the immediate pandemic crisis, which he acknowledged created a "void" of facts that allowed misinformation to creep in.
"In retrospect, should we have given more priority to fulfilling information requests? In my opinion, yes, and I think that’s what created the void. But do I understand the pressure everyone was under? Yes," he said.
Cuomo’s press conference comes days after his top aide Melissa DeRosa admitted in a call with state lawmakers that the administration tried to delay the release of the data, wary of a federal Justice Department preliminary inquiry.