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At this point, he was already seeking formal approval from a state ethics agency to earn outside income from selling books, according to a person familiar with his planning at the time.

The governor’s policy of ordering nursing homes to accept and readmit patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus remains a subject of intense debate. An investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, released in January, found that Mr. Cuomo’s memo to nursing homes met federal guidelines, but that it “could have put residents at increased risk. damage in certain establishments ”.

Ms Garvey said in her statement that the governor’s order does not result in deaths in nursing homes, a finding that was also drawn in the Health Department’s report.

As the report was debated, Mr Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, was still enjoying great popularity for his televised media briefings.

Dr Eleanor Adams was the Department of Health’s lead on the report, but her draft was substantially rewritten by Mr Malatras, now the system chancellor at State University of New York. He was one of a number of officials and former advisers temporarily recruited by Mr Cuomo to help with the pandemic response.

The back-and-forth has gone far beyond the governor’s usual process of suggesting changes to an agency report, and has become “intense” at times, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Health officials said the governor’s office, whose opinion was conveyed by Mr. Malatras, wanted to oversimplify. They feared that it was no longer a real scientific report, but feared for their work if they did not accept.

Even so, a revised version prepared by Mr. Malatras did not suppress the higher death toll.

This happened later, after Ms DeRosa and Ms Lacewell learned of his inclusion. He was removed soon after.

Luis Ferré-Sadurní contributed reporting.



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