Mr. Cuomo’s March 25 order led to many more tragic and unnecessary deaths than were reported to the public, and his administration appears to have engaged in a coverup designed to frustrate the federal government’s oversight efforts. New York’s apparently false statements about nursing-home deaths misled public-health officials across the country at a time when they were trying to develop strategies to battle a deadly pandemic.
Ms. DeRosa’s reported admissions indicate the Cuomo administration’s conduct wasn’t merely negligent, but intentional and perhaps criminal. Numerous federal criminal statutes could apply. It’s a crime to make false statements to the federal government. It’s also a crime to conceal information and otherwise obstruct government investigations. New York may have engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and its agencies and possibly obstruct justice, among other crimes.
Even if it cannot be proved that the Cuomo administration knowingly provided false information to Justice and CMS, New York’s willful failure to provide information may itself constitute a criminal offense—particularly if the intent was to thwart a federal investigation—which, after all, is exactly what Ms. DeRosa reportedly said the administration did.