Skip to main content
Publish date:

U of M's Osterholm denies claim he was 'chief adviser' to NY Gov. Cuomo

Dr. Michael Osterholm says he's only had one five-minute conversation with the governor.
Osterholm

Dr. Michael Osterholm, a top epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, has denied he was a chief adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

This is the latest in the fallout over the governor's handling of nursing home data related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In May 2020, Cuomo said he brought in Osterholm, the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, to provide "technical advice and analyze data/metrics throughout the state's reopening process and help track the state's progress." 

And earlier this month, the New York Times reported Cuomo's top aides told Democrats he speaks regularly with Osterholm and Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

But on Friday, Osterholm in an interview with PBS' Firing Line denied he was one of Cuomo's top health advisers.

"I have not had anything to do with his nursing home activity at all. I came on basically in early June only just to review data on a weekly basis – did it meet the standards that they had set? So I was almost more of a technician than any kind of technologist," Osterholt said. 

He added, "I've never met with their group. I've had one five-minute conversation my entire life with Gov. Cuomo, just a few weeks ago when he called me just to congratulate me on a TV program appearance."

When asked about his top aides calling Osterholm one of his top advisers, he said "that's absolutely not true. Never true. I've had one five-minute conversation, which is a surprise, and he had seen me on MSNBC and just wanted to call and say what a great job I did."

It does not appear that Cuomo has commented on Osterholm's claims, but Richard Azzopardi, a chief adviser to Cuomo, responded on Twitter: 

Cuomo has come under fire from both Republicans and Democrats after the Democratic governor admitted some responsibility in withholding data on COVD-related deaths in New York nursing homes. Meanwhile, federal officials have reportedly opened an investigation into his administration's handling of nursing home deaths. 

Want to know more? This BBC story explains all the details of the controversy. 

The latest forecast from Sven Sundgaard

Next Up

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers out 6-8 weeks with injury

The Hopkins native was hurt during Sunday's matchup with Notre Dame.

Anthony Barr

Vikings' defense could get reinforcements against Steelers

Several starters could return for a critical Thursday night matchup.

Mercer ATV accident fundraiser

High schooler in coma, fighting for his life after ATV crash

Family members found the teen on the ground and unresponsive.

Nolan Sprengeler - muskie record - nov 2021

Angler officially breaks 64-year-old state muskie record

The muskellunge he caught on Nov. 22 weighed a whopping 55 pounds, 14 ounces.

coronavirus, ICU, covid-19 hospital, doctor

4th teen COVID-19 death reported in MN is the 2nd in as many weeks

All four teenage COVID-19 deaths in the state have been reported in the past two months.

Anil Menon

Minnesota native named to NASA's new astronaut class

When he's done training, he could be sent to the space station or the moon.

broadway pizza interior facebook

Gallery: Original Broadway Pizza auctioning off everything

Get your hands on some classic Broadway signage, train-themed decor and more.

art shanty projects

Art Shanty Projects to return to Lake Harriet this winter

The festival has made some creative changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

After 'extraordinary' revenue growth, MN projects $7.7B surplus

But finance officials note there is still "significant risk" due to economic uncertainty.

amelia huffman

Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman named interim chief of the Minneapolis PD

She lives in Uptown and has been with the MPD for 27 years.

Related

teacher, covid, masks, school

As start of school approaches, Osterholm urges parents to buy high-quality masks

Dr. Michael Osterholm is worried that some districts aren't properly prepared.

covid

What Dr. Michael Osterholm says about new coronavirus strains

"What we're seeing right now in England I think is going to be a harbinger of things to come," said Osterholm.

Walz

Walz responds to Osterholm's prediction of a variant-driven spike

Osterholm remains confident that the B.1.1.7. variant will cause big problems within 14 weeks.

school, classroom

Osterholm: Time to reconsider in-person learning at schools due to B.1.1.7 threat

Minnesota is seeing rising cases and hospitalizations, with more kids being infected.

Osterholm

Osterholm recommends delaying 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Delaying the second dose would allow more people to get a first dose of the vaccine.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz offers pathway to 'wind-down' his emergency powers

"I recognize our shared interest in finding a pathway ... to ensure an orderly end of the peacetime emergency when it is no longer needed," Walz writes.

obese, obesity

U of M's Osterholm: Obesity could be deadly factor in U.S. COVID-19 outbreak

Gov. Walz said on Monday that obesity is a factor the state will start looking at.