New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an investigation into an alleged cover-up by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration over how many patients died in nursing homes early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s very troubling. We’ve got to know more. We now need a full accounting of what happened,” de Blasio said during a radio interview on Friday.
“Think about seniors, who their lives were in the balance and their families, you know, just desperate to get them the help they needed,” de Blasio continued. “We need to know exactly what happened here. We need to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”
The mayor’s comments come after a New York Post report revealed that Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa admitted to state Democrats that the administration “froze” when the Justice Department started asking questions about its handling of the nursing home situation.
Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” DeRosa said.
The state’s attorney general’s office recently found the governor’s office had undercounted nursing home deaths by as much as 50%, a stunning revelation after Cuomo spent most of the year defending his use of the homes to admit patients infected with COVID-19.
While de Blasio called the New York Post story a “very disturbing report,” he is not the only prominent Democrat in the state that has been critical of Cuomo, with more than a dozen state Democratic legislators calling on the governor to be stripped of his emergency authority.
“Without exception, the New York State Constitution calls for the Legislature to govern as a co-equal branch of government. While COVID-19 has tested the limits of our people and state — and, early during the pandemic, required the government to restructure decision making to render rapid, necessary public health judgements [sic] — it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate,” a statement by the group of lawmakers said.
Republicans have piled on as well, with Rep. Lee Zeldin calling for an obstruction of justice investigation into the governor and Rep. Elise Stefanik demanding Cuomo and his “senior team” be “prosecuted immediately” for the nursing home deaths.
Author : Michael Lee
Source : Washington Examiner : De Blasio calls for full investigation into Cuomo’s handling of nursing home scandal