Congresswoman Says Andrew Cuomo Should Resign if Probe Shows Nursing Home Coverup

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 1, 2021   |   3:05PM   |   Albany, New York

A New York congresswoman says Andrew Cuomo should resign if an investigation of the nursing home scandal shows Governor Andrew Cuomo covered up the number of seniors who died from the coronavirus after his order putting patients with COVID in nursing homes despite the availability of alternative arrangements.

Last week, the New York Attorney General has released a scathing new report showing that Governor Andrew Cuomo hid the deaths of thousands of nursing home residents. The shocking report confirms what most observers thought to be true for months, that Cuomo’s order putting coronavirus patients in nursing homes killed thousands more seniors than initially thought.

Cuomo has been under fire for months about nursing home deaths because the state tally only includes people who died at the facility; nursing home residents who were transferred to hospitals and died there are not included in the total.

In the report, the state attorney general, Democrat Letitia James, said the Cuomo administration likely omitted thousands of COVID deaths of nursing home residents.

Reacting to that report and calls for a further investigation, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has called for the pro-abortion governor to resign if a “criminal cover-up” of nursing home deaths is proven through a federal investigation:

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In an interview with Fox News’ “Justice with Jeanine Pirro” on Saturday, the congresswoman said a federal investigation must be held into Cuomo’s administration, after a Jan. 28 report (pdf) from the state attorney general’s office revealed health officials underreported CCP virus-related nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent in some places.

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“I want to see a federal investigation because I think there were criminal acts conducted by the governor, by his senior staff. I want a very public and transparent investigation,” Stefanik told Pirro.

The congresswoman, who has characterized the revelations as “a massive corruption and coverup scandal at the highest level of New York State government,” said she believes that the New York Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker, should tender his resignation following the release of the 76-page report.

The report followed an investigation into the state’s nursing home responses during the pandemic over allegations of patient neglect and other misconduct.

Stefanik also called for Cuomo’s resignation if the investigation reveals any misconduct.

The liberal media touted Andrew Cuomo as a success story even though numbers show over 42,000 people died in his state — making it so New York has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the world. Still, Cuomo released a book and went on a widely-publicized book tour where he received universal praise from media outlets.

The high death toll in New York nursing homes stems directly from a March 25 memo from the Health Department that he issued, which ordered nursing homes to accept patients who had tested positive.

The Democrat governor’s order has been widely considered to be disastrous because it placed COVID-19 patients with the elderly and people with disabilities, those most vulnerable and likely to die from the virus. Cuomo later reversed the order, but he continually has refused to take responsibility for it.

Previously, Times Union columnist Chris Churchill, the Associated Press and others have believed for months that the publicly-reported nursing home deaths are a “significant undercount.”

“The state is hiding the truth in other words – perhaps to make a controversial March 25 order requiring that nursing homes accept COVID-19 patients appear less catastrophic than it really was,” Churchill wrote in reaction to the new Department of Justice request.

Churchill said Cuomo keeps criticizing the investigation as a political, partisan attack, but it is not true. News outlets with right and left political leanings have been questioning the governor, as have Democrat and Republican lawmakers.

“Journalists and state lawmakers from both parties have repeatedly asked for the full count, only to be stonewalled by Cuomo and the Department of Health,” he wrote. “There’s no logical reason for the secrecy, other than protecting the governor’s reputation.”

Many New Yorkers also are demanding answers. The Empire Center for Public Policy recently filed a lawsuit demanding that the state release its data on nursing home deaths.

Janice Dean, a senior meteorologist at Fox News, has been a leading critic of Cuomo after both her in-laws died from the coronavirus in March in assisted living and nursing home facilities in New York.

“Here’s one hard truth Cuomo has still yet to tell: how many nursing home residents have died of COVID-19. 9 months into the pandemic, and three months after his health commissioner testified that he was hard at work counting NH deaths, Cuomo has not announced the grim total,” Dean wrote on Twitter.

She believes Cuomo’s order led to her in-laws’ and other loved ones’ deaths. And she has been calling for an investigation, The Federalist reported.

But Cuomo is not alone. Four other Democrat governors also ordered nursing homes to take coronavirus patients: New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania and Michigan. These five states have some of the highest nursing home death numbers, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Like so many others, Dean said she wants to know why the governor put vulnerable nursing home patients at risk, why he did not use the other makeshift hospitals for COVID-19 patients instead and why the state still has not released the total number of nursing-home deaths linked to the virus.

“This is not political. It’s about accountability @NYGovCuomo,” she wrote on Twitter. “We won’t stop.”