Gov. Andrew Cuomo accused of undercounting nursing home deaths

After a high approval rating over the summer, the New York governor is now defending himself and is refusing to apologize.
6:28 | 02/24/21

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Transcript for Gov. Andrew Cuomo accused of undercounting nursing home deaths
Your governor Andrew Cuomo is under federal investigation permits reporting coated nursing home deaths in the state the governor had faced backlash after state health officials directed nursing homes and marched to readmit residents discharged from the hospital would still recovering from club in nineteen. Now he's facing allegations that his administration manipulated and downplayed the data. About nursing home infections and deaths to avoid criticism which ABC's senior investigative reporter Aaron could terse Kaye joins me now to talk about this controversy. Aaron thanks so much for being on you know almost spent months aggressively denying that he mismanaged nursing homes in the beginning of the pandemic in anyway so let me know so far about what really happens from the New York attorney general and the other investigations under way. New York attorney general I think was the one that really blew the lid off of the almost deceptions because she was the one that said that. The state may have undercounted. Cove in nineteen deaths among nursing home residents by as much as 50%. And Governor Cuomo denied that he tried to fudge any numbers but when state lawmakers came asking about somebody's numbers back in June. His aide recently conceded that business the governor and his aides kind of Stonewall. And didn't quite come clean with the state lawmakers because they feared that the numbers would be used against the administration. By former president trump remembered can trump had been looking for ways to take Cuomo down a peg. Duke and how hide both his marks were for his handling of corona virus and how critical Cuomo was. Via of the administration at the time and so he she pointed to this nursing home criticism in saying that because Cuomo directed nursing home residents who had been discharged but who would not yet tested negative. Sent them back into nursing homes. The former president asserted that that increased the amount of death in nursing homes Cuomo has denied it he said he was following central guidance at the time. He said that nursing homes were already incest and with Corbett nineteen because staffs trotted in from the outside. And so then how are they explaining why the numbers are often why they weren't counting nursing home residents who ended up then dying in hospitals the way other Steve still. It in fact they've never really successfully explained. How they'd been counting the numbers and and why they they may have been counting them differently based say that that the state lawmakers and the public has had all the numbers right away. But but really they think they didn't and still bit the New York State attorney general. Revealed the results of her investigation and all of a sudden. A Cuomo's office put the numbers up on the state dashboard and so. There's a real question about who wins Steve new to true results of of nursing home deaths. Ed and what they decided to do about it and later this week music Schering. With governor Cuomo's top health official doctor Howard zucker. And and can bet that lawmakers are gonna try and really into that Diane to seek. What numbers he actually knew about then and what numbers he was telling the public at the same time. And Aaron Cuomo's approval ratings were so high at the peak of the pandemic in New York summer even calling for him to run for President Bush she wrote a book on how to lead in a pandemic in the middle of all this. Now he's being carried on Saturday Night Live for trying to avoid controversy and her using to apologize so how is this affecting. Cuomo's reputation and how did he get here. It was almost as if you parodies the Saturday Night Live skit because that doesn't the following Monday came out and he said he was going to loosen some restrictions and it and it was as if that you know he took a look at Saturday Night Live and sending that's not a bad idea because she's really been under the gun at the state lawmakers are are looking to strip Cuomo of some of his emergency powers. That have governed his decisions and enabled the state. To be fairly nimble in its response throughout this pandemic now state lawmakers as soon as next week when to take a vote at least the state senate. Due to try it and scale that fact included shack on his power. Cuomo has not always embraced. The other branch of of government when it comes to making the rules and state lawmakers have seized on the controversy to try and reassert themselves. And and and look that has Cuomo fighting back in in ways that only Cuomo knows how he can be combative any can be abrasive. One state assemblyman accused Cuomo of threatening him. I know several state lawmakers who received kind of a renting phone calls from the governor over the past couple of weeks. Alternately he'll try to be ingratiating and then he'll don't threaten lawmakers that's been his style. And he's being you know put in a barrel soared but that's worked for him at least at the outset of this pandemic when as he said Diane he did receive high marks and and much of that may be that he was being compared to two former president trump and had such a different response the former president. Who nearly every turn tried to downplay that they're pandemic. Cuomo was out their giving what he said where the fax in the true story now his style it has come back to bite him. And Cuomo is also now facing allegations of sexual harassment and bullying from a former aide what are we know about that. And how's the governor responding. Lindsay Boylan is a former congressional candidates she's now running for Manhattan Borough president. And she had treated about these claims Bakken in December. They were denied then and she repeated some of them inning medium posted in which she accused the governor. A promulgating an act this year an atmosphere or sexual harassment. And bullying and in particular when she accused the governor sexually harassing her. During an October 2017. Plane ride. The governor's office to date put out a statement denying that that slight ever took place in broadly they have denied the allegations. At every turn Cuomo pushes back on on his critics sometimes. Forcefully but she is not the only one to raise issues Karen Hinton another former lead. Wrote in the New York Daily News today that that. This is the kind of atmosphere. That. And does what it's like for women working in the governor's office the governor notably was supposed to have the I'll call with reporters today that call did not happen. Aren't investigative reporter aren't sure is key Aaron we know you'll say on it we appreciate that thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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