Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Friday threw her support behind an investigation into the Cuomo administration’s handling of the coronavirus in New York state’s nursing residences.
Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement:
I support our state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19. Thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers lost their lives in nursing homes throughout the pandemic. Their loved ones and the public deserve answers and transparency from their elected leadership, and the Secretary to the Governor’s remarks warrant a full investigation.
The Cuomo administration is under investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn following reports the governor’s top aide privately apologized to Democrat lawmakers for withholding the nursing home data, admitting that officials “froze” over concerns that the figures could “be used against us” in a federal investigation. The bombshell admission was first reported by the New York Post.
In the wake of the scandal, New York state lawmakers have called for Cuomo’s emergency powers, granted to him amid the coronavirus pandemic, to be stripped from him. The statement from the lawmakers read:
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 judgments — it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the governor are no longer appropriate. 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.
There have been more than 13,000 confirmed and presumed-positive COVID-19 deaths of nursing home residents since March 1, 2020, with about 4,091 of those deaths occurring after the resident was transported out of a nursing home, according to an update posted Monday on the health department’s website. There were also about 1,743 such deaths among residents of other adult-care facilities since March, the new data showed, with about 1,493 of those deaths occurring after the resident was transported elsewhere.
The UPI contributed to his report.