New York Lawmaker Calls for Impeaching Gov. Andrew Cuomo for Hiding Nursing Home Deaths

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 18, 2021   |   12:27PM   |   Albany, New York

A New York lawmaker is calling for the impeachment of Gov. Andrew Cuomo after he was accused of covering up nursing home death numbers connected to his COVID-19 mandate.

The Epoch Times reports state Assemblyman Michael Montesano, R-Hicksville, said he plans to ask state lawmakers to file articles of impeachment against the Democrat governor.

“We’ve been calling for subpoenas and a hearing for quite a while,” Montesano told Fox News. “This news of the last several days is extremely troubling to me, and I’m going to be asking today for his resignation and I’m also going to be asking the legislature to look into, to explore filing articles of impeachment against the governor if he doesn’t resign.”

Earlier this week, a state Democrat lawmaker, Assemblyman Ron Kim, D-Queens, said Cuomo called him at home and threatened him after he accused the governor of covering up the coronavirus nursing home deaths.

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Cuomo is facing increasing criticism after state Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, released a report in January accusing the governor of failing to report thousands of nursing home residents’ deaths to COVID-19. Then, last week, Cuomo top aid Melissa DeRosa told state Democrat lawmakers that the administration withheld the actual death numbers because they were worried the information would “be used against us” politically.

In March 2020, Cuomo began requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients – an action that placed potentially contagious people together with those most vulnerable to the virus. He later reversed the policy, but thousands of people died.

Originally, New York reported 8,110 deaths at nursing homes due to the coronavirus. However, the state tally only included people who died at a facility. Nursing home residents who were transferred to hospitals and died there were not included in the total.

According to the attorney general’s report, the actual total is 12,743 nursing home deaths.

Montesano said the issue is about people’s lives and government accountability, not partisan politics.

“The governor wants to talk about how our attacks on him are political,” Montesano said. “They’re not political, this we’ve had an inkling all the while that they were covering stuff up, and now [DeRosa] admitted that she covered stuff up because she knew the Department of Justice has an active investigation going on of the nursing home problems which a lot of us in the legislature, especially in the minority, requested that they do.”

DeRosa later issued a statement denying that the Cuomo administration hid the data for political reasons.

Many Democrat state lawmakers also are calling for accountability from Cuomo and his administration.

“This is not about the governor,” Kim wrote on Twitter earlier this week. “This is about us protecting the integrity of the senate & assembly as this administration attempted multiple times to implicate us in their cover-ups. We must be the check & balance our state desperately needs.”

New York has one of the highest COVID-19 death numbers and death rates in the United States – a status it has maintained for months, according to coronavirus statistics updated daily at NBC News.

Criticism of the Democrat governor has come from both sides of the political aisle as well as multiple news outlets and watchdog groups.

The Times Union, the Associated Press and others reported about the initial nursing home death total being a “significant undercount.” ProPublica, a left-leaning investigative news publication, also criticized the Democrat governor for releasing a book praising himself for his handling of the virus – despite his failure to be transparent about the 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 in October.

She believes Cuomo’s order led to her in-laws’ deaths. And she has been calling for an investigation.

Four other Democrat governors also ordered nursing homes to take coronavirus patients in 2020 before reversing their orders: New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania and Michigan. These states are among the top ten for the highest coronavirus deaths in the country.