Begin apology, Gov. Cuomo – and stop the lies

Start with this, Governor: Sorry.

Apologize to the thousands of New York families who lost one loved in a nursing home in the wake of your deadly order on March 25 that forced the home to accept infectious COVID patients.

Apologize to the 20 million people in New York State that you have been cheating on for almost a year about the horrors of the nursing home.

Say sorry to all those you have accused of distracting from your own fault, from the employees of the homes to all the federal officials you have claimed to be actually responsible for this order and / or your coverage.

Sorry, and stop trying to duck responsibility by promoting a package of lies.

That was what the governor did again on Monday at his first press conference since The Post broke the news that his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, had admitted to Democratic lawmakers that the government and his people deliberately covered the truth for months.

Gov. Cuomo sticks to his “Blame Trump” cover story, pretending that the concealment was motivated by fears that the then president would somehow use the truth in a politicized federal investigation.

He then spent months trying to accuse Trumpies of the original, deadly March order for nursing homes to accept COVID-infected patients, which hospitals wanted to dump on them without question. Do not remember that other states did not read the federal directive to demand something similar.

On Monday, he even added a perverted twist: State lawmakers should have known the cover-up was about Trump because The Post reported in August that a federal probe had begun.

Remove the fact that then-Attorney General Bill Barr’s Department of Justice did not take incorrect orders from the White House (Barr is a complete straight-shooter, though many Democrats were convinced otherwise). The bigger problem is that coverup started months before that.

In fact, it appears to have started as soon as Posten’s Bernadette Hogan first revealed the existence of the deadly March 25 by asking about it at a press conference weeks later. At the press conference on April 20, the government pretended that he had never heard of the order before. (And remember, he’s as close as a bug to the State Hospital lobby, which clearly requested the order if it were only to clear beds for more urgent COVID cases. Nor that Cuomo is a notorious micro-driver who would hardly let such a lethal mandate is issued without his personal cancellation.)

It is at this point that the State Department of Health suddenly began reporting “the nursing home’s COVID deaths” in a way that was unique to New York – and omitting residents who only died after being transferred to a hospital. This, although DOH continued to record the full truth, but refused to share it.

Yes, Cuomoites stonewalled Freedom of Information Law requests from the Empire Center and the Associated Press most of next year – again, starting long before the feds showed any interest.

The state only finally began releasing this information after 1) Attorney General Tish James’ report outlined the basic fact that the number of deaths in nursing homes was 50 percent higher than Cuomo or Health Commissioner Howard Zucker had admitted, and 2) a judge directly ordered DOH to comply with the Empire Center FOIL request.

Oh, and none of this explains why Zucker did not effectively lift the lethal order until May – long after it became clear that hospitals did not need to dump infectious patients in nursing homes who were not prepared for the challenge because the hospitals were not actually runs out of bed space.

“Blame Trump” is far from the only lie the governor continues to strike. On Monday, he returned to blame the nursing home staff for intentionally accepting the infectious patients – something according to the James report that there was no evidence of.

More: If the concealment was really just about Trump, why did Cuomo and Zucker spend months claiming that the New York nursing home’s COVID death rate was below the national average, when they knew the real numbers showed it was not? Although Trump was after them, it did not require them to actively deceive the public.

Many permanent New Yorkers lost loved ones because of the order on March 25, and they will not keep quiet. Many lawmakers (some of whom also lost family) are also furious at Team Cuomo’s stone wall and lies.

Will that be enough to get the legislature’s democratic leadership to stop protecting Cuomo and allow serious hearings in this horror? At the very least, they must agree with the Assembly’s minority leader Will Barclay’s call for a special session to lift the pandemic emergency powers that the governor has abused.

And will President Biden’s Ministry of Justice do the right thing and open a larger independent investigation? The need for some special advice to oversee it now seems obvious, as DeRosa has family ties to the top justice official, while Cuomo was a close Biden ally throughout the 2020 campaign.

It is up to the governor’s fellow Democrats to hold him accountable. If they do not, they are also part of the coverup.

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