by Chuck Ross
The FBI and a U.S. attorney in New York are investigating Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration over their handling of data on coronavirus cases in state nursing home facilities, according to multiple reports.
Prosecutors have issued subpoenas in the investigation, which is in its early stages, two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.
The Albany Times-Union first reported the investigation on Wednesday.
Cuomo has come under intense scrutiny over a nursing home policy he implemented last year, and for his administration’s handling of data from long-term care facilities in the state.
Cuomo implemented a policy on March 25 that said that nursing homes must accept residents from hospitals, even if they had tested positive for coronavirus.
Advocates worried at the time that the order would increase the spread of the virus at nursing homes, where residents are at higher risk for severe cases of COVID-19 due to their age and other health conditions.
Cuomo, a Democrat, insisted throughout last year that New York had one of the lowest nursing home fatality rates in the country, and that his March 25 order did not contribute to nursing home fatalities.
Last month, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a report that said that Cuomo’s administration underreported nursing home coronavirus deaths by as much as 50%.
Last week, a top aide to Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, told state lawmakers that the administration withheld nursing home data out of concerns about how the Trump Justice Department might use information.
DeRosa’s comments prompted lawmakers, including Democrats, to accuse Cuomo of lying about the severity of coronavirus cases in long-term care facilities.
Cuomo also allegedly threatened a Democratic state assemblyman, Ron Kim.
Kim, who represents a district in Queens, said Wednesday that Cuomo threatened to “destroy him” for signing a letter with other lawmakers accusing Cuomo of obstruction over the nursing home data.
“He goes off about how I hadn’t seen his wrath and anger, that he would destroy me and he would go out tomorrow and start telling how bad of a person I am and I would be finished,” Kim told the New York Times.
The FBI did not respond to a request for comment about the investigation.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.