Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo repeated his infamous “who cares?” line during a grilling by a House committee Tuesday about his administration’s decision to send infected COVID-19 patients into nursing homes — resulting in thousands of deaths during the pandemic, according to a readout of his testimony released Wednesday by Republicans.

Republican majority staff from the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic said Cuomo “deflected responsibility” throughout the seven-hour interview about his administration’s devastating March 25, 2020, “must admit” order that shuttled sick patients into senior care facilities statewide.

A transcript of the testimony has yet to be released, and reps for Cuomo who were present for the interview have disputed some of the readout’s claims.

During the closed-door session, the 66-year-old Cuomo blamed an unidentified staff member at the New York Health Department for drafting the directive, claimed it mirrored federal guidance, was not mandatory — and dismissed the premise of the House probe as part of an ongoing political attack.

But Republicans on the panel pushed back and forced Cuomo to acknowledge the language of the state order differed from DC’s guidance, House GOP conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and other members told reporters.

“They [Cuomo and his then-staff] want to assert that that order is exactly the same as the federal [Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines], which it is not,” upstate Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) said on Tuesday during a break in the proceedings.

“The state order says, ‘You shall take back individuals and you cannot deny them solely on the basis of COVID,’ which left [nursing homes] no option but to accept individuals that we knew would cause risk to the other patients,” he explained.

Molinaro also accused Cuomo’s administration of having “cooked the books” on the nursing home death count, which was later confirmed by two state investigations, once they “knew that the order was causing great loss”

“When pressed to explain the discrepancy between the reported death count and the true mortality rate, Mr. Cuomo was shockingly callous — testifying ‘6,500 versus 9,000…who cares, what difference did it make?’” the readout of the interview on Capitol Hill shows.

“He seemed to feel very little remorse,” select subcommittee chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) told The Post and other reporters after his interview with the ex-governor. “Often [he] would be talking about a certain number of deaths in a certain place, and to him they were just numbers. They were just numbers.”

“It is mind-blowing to me that the governor, who was later to rescind or amend the directive that went out about putting COVID patients or untested patients back into nursing homes,” Wenstrup added. “He was the one who put the executive order out to amend it, but when it came to the directive itself, he had no idea where it came from and still does not. No responsibility.”

“I don’t know where the buck stops,” added Wenstrup, one of several doctors on the panel and a retired US Army colonel who received a Bronze Star for his work as a combat surgeon during the Iraq War.

A spokeswoman for the House subcommittee majority also told The Post that Cuomo used the phrases “who cares” and “what is the difference” numerous times.

“Any dismissal of the heartbreak that families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 continue to experience is unacceptable and inconsistent with the values of compassion and empathy that Americans deserve from their public officials,” subcommittee ranking member Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) told The Post in a statement.

“The point was, there was no discrepancy, as all categories were contained in the overall death number that was never in dispute,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said in a statement.

“What the Republicans couldn’t explain was why 1.2 million Americans died during this pandemic — more than any other country and any other war — under the lack of leadership from Trump and the Republicans that continues to this day as they put a podiatrist in charge of the COVID committee,” he added in a direct attack against Wenstrup.

In a May 2023 hearing before the select subcommittee, Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), a doctor and former chief medical officer for Sacramento County, called the New York directive “medical malpractice.”

Cuomo’s response was identical to the former governor’s reaction to a January 2021 report from New York Attorney General Letitia James, who revealed his administration had low-balled the number of nursing home deaths by more than 50% by excluding residents who later died in hospitals.

Health Commissioner Howard Zucker responded by releasing the full data, which shifted the COVID death count from 8,711 to 12,743 as of that month.

“Who cares [if they] died in the hospital, died in a nursing home?” Cuomo erupted in a Jan. 29 press conference the day after the report was released. “They died.”

Auditors confirmed the following year that Albany’s Department of Health had “misled the public” by leaving out at least 4,100 nursing home deaths due to COVID-19 — and had “conformed its presentation to the Executive’s narrative,” meaning Cuomo.

“If I knew then what I know now, I would have told my Department of Health, ‘Don’t listen to the federal government; they don’t know what they’re talking about,’” the former governor told The Post and others at the end of his transcribed interview, declining to accept full responsibility while expressing some remorse for the outcome.

He also admitted that nursing homes were “confused” by the directive, according to the readout.

Voices for Seniors, a nonprofit for families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 in nursing homes, also blasted Cuomo in a statement.

“WE CARE!” the group said. “Every time we stare at the empty chairs at our tables, we care. We care every time we want to hug our lost loved one and they aren’t by our side. We care every single day when our loved ones can’t share in our joys or comfort us in our lows. We care because Cuomo failed to protect our senior citizens that trusted him.”

“There is no confusion that ordering a deadly virus into nursing homes caused the demise of thousands,” they added. “We look forward to Andrew Cuomo being brought to justice for the 15,000 innocent victims and us grieving families.”

Wenstrup indicated it was “very likely” the former New York governor — who may challenge Eric Adams for New York City mayor in 2025 — will be back in Congress again this year for a public hearing.

“It’s not only just the people in New York that deserve this, because they do,” he said, “but I think the whole country does.”

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