A doctor, who Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top aide says was one of the Governor's chief health advisors, said he has had only one five-minute conversation with Cuomo in his entire life.
“I’ve had one five-minute conversation my entire life with Governor Cuomo, just a few weeks ago when he called me just to congratulate me on a TV program appearance,” Dr. Michael Osterholm said in an interview with Firing Line show host, Margaret Hoover.
“I came on basically in early June only just review data on a weekly basis, did it meet the standards they had set? So I was almost more of a technician than any kind of technologist” Dr. Osterholm said. “I’ve never met with their group.”
This news comes after the Cuomo administration released a transcript of a private zoom meeting between the Governor’s top aides and a select group of Democratic lawmakers.
During the meeting, Senator James Skoufis questions Cuomo’s advisors about the New York Times article which revealed nine of New York’s top health officials resigned from the State Health Department saying they felt sidelined by the governor.
“If they're not making the decisions, who are?" Senator Skoufis questioned.
“I’ll take this one Senator,” Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa jumped in according to the transcript. “So the New York Time story aside, although I'll say that I had never heard of the five people that they came to us with…The Governor speaks on a regular basis with Dr. Fauci and Dr. Michael Osterholm. I would say those are two of the people that are chief advisors.”
During his interview when asked about this specific quote from DeRosa, Dr. Osterholm insisted “That’s absolutely not true.”
“I’ve had one five-minute conversation which was a surprise and he had seen me on MSNBC, and just wanted to call and say what a great job I did. And that’s my sole total I’ve ever had a conversation with him,” Osterholm continued. “I have a paper trail on all the emails and all I was ever asked to do was, did this meet the red, green, or yellow zone numbers? And that was it.”
The governor’s chief advisor Richard Azzopardi comment on the video saying, “This was all shorthand —Dr. Olsterholm played a role as a chief advisor on reopening and our fall micro cluster strategy — he advised the governor through our core team, who he spoke to on a regular basis, primarily through Jim Malatras (another top Cuomo advisor) and (Health Commissioner) Dr. Howard Zucker.”
Earlier this week on CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked about Governor Andrew Cuomo's controversial March 25 memo that allowed nursing homes to accept COVID-19 positive patients.
"I'm not trying to evade your question, but I'm not really sure of all the details of that," Fauci said.
Lawmakers quickly took to Twitter after the interview with Dr. Osterholm was released, expressing their anger.
“A little lie here, a little lie there - all carefully positioned to show you a facade. But it’s always some sort of lie or misdirection,” Democratic state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi said in a tweet.