Embattled New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who is currently under investigation for allegedly lying to the public about the number of coronavirus deaths in the state — entreated constituents to trust him, insisting he has told them the "truth" since the start of the pandemic.
"I am telling you as I sit here — I have told you the facts on COVID from day one," the governor said defiantly during a news conference on Monday.
"Whether they were easy, whether they were hard, I told you the truth. While a lot of people were talking politics and a lot of people were talking theory and a lot of people were trying to deny because they didn't want to deliver bad news, I told you the truth," he continued.
It's a bold claim to make for an elected leader who is presently the subject of multiple investigations, two of which seek to ascertain whether his administration intentionally misled the public about the number of nursing home residents in the state who died as a result of the virus.
Early on in the pandemic, Cuomo implemented a dangerous and misguided policy of forcing nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive patients back into facilities to free up space in nearby hospitals. The policy remained in place for several weeks before it was finally rescinded — but not before thousands reportedly died as a result.
In January, New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, released a report accusing the administration of undercounting the nursing home deaths in the state by at least 50%. The report suggested the administration did this by only counting deaths at actual nursing home facilities rather than including deaths that occurred at a hospital after a nursing home resident was transferred there to receive more medical attention.
Many believe the Cuomo administration undercounted the deaths on purpose in order to disguise the deadly result of the policy.
Nevertheless, on Monday, Cuomo — who is also under investigation over sexual harassment claims — defiantly implored New Yorkers to adhere to his sage advice regarding vaccines.
"I believe in you," he said. "I believe in New Yorkers. I believe if they get the truth and they get the facts, they will do the right thing. I'm a lifelong New Yorker. I know New Yorkers. Give them the facts!"