Skip to main content

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

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

image

State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.

image

Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.

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.