New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has used the coronavirus pandemic to reinvent himself as a bold, truth-talking leader who is willing to make the hard decision necessary to save lives.

Cuomo has staged such a great show, he got an Emmy for it.

And now it looks like all Cuomo’s bravado wasn’t just a show, it was covering a scandal about nursing home deaths. And who exposed it? New York’s progressive attorney general, Letitia James:

…James reported on Thursday morning that Mr. Cuomo’s administration had undercounted coronavirus-related deaths of state nursing home residents by the thousands.

Just hours later, Ms. James was proved correct, as Health Department officials made public new data that added more than 3,800 deaths to their tally, representing nursing home residents who had died in hospitals and had not previously been counted by the state as nursing home deaths.

The state’s acknowledgment increased the overall death toll related to those facilities by more than 40 percent. Ms. James’s report had suggested that the state’s previous tally could be off by as much as 50 percent.

Cuomo had long insisted all accusations of undercounts were just partisan hit jobs. But James’ report tells a much different story:

Ms. James’s assertion of an undercount of deaths gave credence to theories that the state may have intentionally played down the number of those deaths to avoid blame.

“This is shocking and unconscionable,” said Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, the Democratic chairman of the Assembly Health Committee. “But not surprising.”

James’ investigation is ongoing.

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