White House press secretary called reports that aides to New York Gov. (D) rewrote a report to alter data on coronavirus nursing home deaths “troubling” and said the Biden administration would support an independent review of the matter.
“Obviously, they’re troubling and we certainly would support any outside investigation, but those wouldn’t be determined by us,” Psaki told reporters at a briefing Friday afternoon.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Cuomo aides altered a report last July by public health officials on nursing home deaths to include only those who died in nursing home facilities but leave out those who died in hospitals.
The final report said that 6,432 nursing home residents died of the virus, while the initial report put the figure at closer to 10,000 deaths. The New York Times also reported on the effort to alter the data in the report last year.
Cuomo officials said in response to the reports that there were concerns about the accuracy of the data and therefore the administration recommended against including data on deaths outside long-term care facilities.
Federal officials are investigating Cuomo’s handling of data on nursing home deaths. The New York governor has come under mounting scrutiny in recent weeks over his handling of nursing home deaths during the coronavirus as well as sexual assault allegations leveled against him by former aides.
One of the aides, Charlotte Bennett, detailed the harassment allegations in an interview on CBS News on Thursday and said she believed the governor was trying to sleep with her. The New York attorney general is overseeing an investigation into the allegations; the White House has supported the probe.
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