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Albany reporters give context on Cuomo nursing home scandal in wake of new federal probe

The governor's office is accused of not releasing true nursing home death numbers.{p}{/p}
The governor's office is accused of not releasing true nursing home death numbers.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-New York) is under fire from New York lawmakers as the FBI and a U.S. attorney are looking into the nursing home scandal embroiling his administration.

State Assembly Democrats will begin work to strip emergency powers from the governor on Monday. This, as State Assembly Republicans are moving to begin an impeachment commission.

CBS 6 is fact checking Governor Cuomo's administration, rolling the tape on some of the comments that have the governor facing scrutiny.

Bernadette Hogan covers Governor Andrew Cuomo's COVID-19 briefings for the New York Post. Last week, she broke one of the latest developments in the state's nursing home scandal.

MORE: NY Post: Cuomo aide says "we froze" regarding nursing home data requests

“Since then, it’s been a whirlwind, there’s been a lot of fall out since then,” Hogan said.

The Post obtained a recording in which Governor Cuomo's top aide, Melissa DeRosa is heard telling lawmakers the administration did not release the complete death toll from nursing homes during the pandemic because it feared a federal investigation.

MORE: Cuomo top aide with explanation after firestorm following NY Post article on nursing homes

“Melissa said essentially the administration "froze,” Hogan said.

The administration has since released a full transcript of that controversial call and Cuomo has come under fire from lawmakers in own party.

READ: Transcript of Zoom call with Cuomo's administration and NYS Legislators

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) said, ‘It seemed to me like the Cuomo administration was trying to “dodge” a federal investigation’,” Hogan said.

Cuomo has defended his administration, saying he takes responsibility for not releasing the numbers sooner, but now some of his past comments touting the state's pandemic response are being called into question. This is what he said when CBS 6’s Anne McCloy asked for the death toll back in December, before the true numbers came out.

“New York is number 46 out of 50 in terms of percentage of deaths in nursing homes, 46 out of 50,” Cuomo said.

Jesse McKinley has been covering Cuomo for the New York Times for the last eight years.

“The governor was out in front saying that look were doing a good job, we're number 46 that has proven not to be true,” McKinley said.

After a court order the administration was forced to release the true death toll, revealing New York is actually in the top 15 in terms of the most COVID nursing home deaths in the U.S.

“Obviously this goes to his credibility not only on this issue but perhaps other issues as well,” McKinley said.

An investigation by New York's attorney general found the Cuomo administration undercounted COVID deaths in nursing home deaths by as much 50 percent. The true death count is more than 15,000.

Federal investigators now begin the process of probing several high-level governor Cuomo officials.

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MORE: Assembly Republicans move to form Cuomo impeachment commission over nursing homes

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