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Gov. Andrew Cuomo avoided reporters on Friday amid growing controversy over The Post’s revelation that a top aide admitted his administration covered up nursing home death data due to a pending federal probe.
Despite traveling to Washington, DC, for a high-profile meeting at the White House, Cuomo laid low afterward and didn’t appear in public — even though Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson addressed journalists outside.
Both men were among a bipartisan group of governors and mayors who sat down with President Biden in the Oval Office to discuss Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan.
In a statement issued later in the afternoon, Cuomo and Hutchinson — who are the chairman and vice-chairman of the National Governors Association, respectively — said that “the president and his team made clear that they recognize and appreciate how critical this targeted relief is for our ability to recover from this pandemic.”
Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” earmarks more than $50 billion for the cash-strapped Empire State, The Post exclusively reported earlier Friday.
During Friday’s daily White House news conference, press secretary Jen Psaki deflected a reporter’s question about whether Biden still had confidence in Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic and if the subject of the nursing home death toll came up at their meeting.
“Well, the president hosted Gov. Cuomo and a bipartisan group of governors and mayors to the White House today to get their perspective from the front lines, not to give anyone a stamp of approval or to seek their stamp of approval — and to discuss the urgency of passing the American Rescue Plan,” she said.
Cuomo is facing calls for federal and state probes into remarks made by secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with Democratic state lawmakers on Wednesday night — audio of which was exclusively obtained by The Post.
DeRosa said Cuomo’s administration last year refused to reveal the true number of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19 due to concerns that the damning numbers would “be used against us” by the Department of Justice.
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