The bombshell exploded late Thursday.

An aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo admitted to lawmakers on a video conference call that the state covered up the number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19 in order to avoid prosecution over their disastrous policy.

They were worried about the Justice Department, the senior aide brazenly admitted. “We froze,” she said, out of fear that the true magnitude of death would lead to criminal charges.

According to the Associated Press, the state may have intentionally underreported the number of COVID patients imported into nursing homes by more than 40%.

New York wasn’t the only state with a disastrous approach to seniors and the coronavirus. But it was close. Governors across the country realized immediately last year that COVID-19 was particularly deadly among seniors, and worked to keep the virus out of nursing homes.

Not in New York.

And not in Michigan.

Michigan was one of the small handful of states that actively and intentionally imported COVID into the facilities where the state’s most at-risk and medically frail patients live.

It was a disastrous and deadly move that flew in the face of the science, the data, and the advice of local experts who implored Governor Whitmer to take a different approach.

When lawmakers passed a bill to keep the virus out of nursing homes, Whitmer even vetoed it.

No wonder the Justice Department came to New York – and Michigan asking questions. 

Whitmer might not be caught in a death toll “cover up,” but that’s small solace to the thousands of families who lost loved ones in Michigan nursing homes after she refused to keep COVID out.

Today offers just the latest reminder that government transparency matters, especially when government is making life and death decisions. It should be an open book.


Tony Daunt
Executive Director
Michigan Freedom Fund