Why Cuomo cooked the books on nursing-home deaths

Yes, they had indeed concealed their drastic undercounting of the death count. But it was not concerns about what the Justice Department might do that inspired them to deceive lawmakers and the public. No, they hid the information to serve the governor’s construction of a grandiose but fraudulent self-image: Cuomo, the progressive visionary, the Man of Science, who was conquering COVID while President Trump and Republican governors stumbled from error to catastrophic error.

Stop and ponder that for a moment.

What DeRosa told lawmakers had them aghast. Not only had Cuomo misled them; he had, in DeRosa’s telling, done it in order to keep relevant information hidden from U.S. investigators. If the latter were true, Cuomo administration officials could well be guilty of federal-obstruction and false-statements crimes. In other words, so shameful was their actual reason for covering up nursing-home deaths — namely, to make a wayward governor look like a fantasy hero — that Cuomo administration officials figured it was better to be seen as potentially felonious than to admit their crude political motivation.