NY Rep rips Cuomo for covering up nursing home deaths: ‘This has to be investigated’
Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., reacts to Gov. Andrew Cuomo facing backlash after covering up nursing home deaths.
Fourteen New York Democrats are seeking to strip Gov. Andrew Cuomo of emergency powers granted to him throughout the COVID-19 pandemic after a top aide revealed his administration withheld data about nursing home deaths in New York from Justice Department investigators.
“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– it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate,” a joint statement by the state Senators said.
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“While the executive’s authority to issue directives is due to expire on April 30, we urge the Senate to advance and adopt a repeal as expeditiously as possible.”
Supporters of the measure included Sens. Alessandra Biaggi, Jabari Brisport, Samra Brouk, Jeremy Cooney, Andrew Gounardes, Robert Jackson, John Liu, John Mannion, Rachel May, Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Gustavo Rivera, Julia Salazar, James Sanders and James Skoufis.
In March 2020, New York passed legislation to expand Cuomo’s executive powers to issue directives to quell the spread of COVID-19, which ravaged the state in the early months of the pandemic.
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But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are losing faith in Cuomo’s ability to be transparent and trustworthy, after Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, revealed on a call with Democratic lawmakers Thursday that Cuomo’s administration feared the data about COVID-19 deaths could “be used against us” by the DOJ in the midst of its federal probe initiated against four states regarding nursing home deaths, including New York.
The revelation came on Wednesday, when the state revealed the number of deaths was actually 15,049 residents in elder care facilities (nursing homes and assisted living/adult care facilities), according to a letter from the State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker sent to Senate Democrats.
T the New York Department of Health reported that as of Jan. 27, 2021, there were 5,957 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 in nursing homes and an additional 2,783 presumed deaths. In assisted care facilities, there were 160 deaths and 52 presumed deaths.
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The staggering numbers confirmed the findings of a probe by the New York Attorney General Letitia James, which revealed that Cuomo’s Department of Health underreported COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%.
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