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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

New York Democrats Seek Censure of Gov. Andrew Cuomo over Nursing Home Scandal

Eleven New York State Democrats are seeking to censure Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) over his handling of data regarding coronavirus deaths in the state’s nursing homes.

The New York Post reported Monday that seven of the 11 Democrat members behind the censure resolution represent New York City:

The reasons for the proposed rebuke, as laid out in the resolution, include:

Cuomo’s team undercounted COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] deaths of nursing home residents deaths in public reporting by up to 50 percent and the true data was only revealed after an investigative report by state Attorney General Leticia James pointed that out;

The Cuomo administration “repeatedly stymied and refused” to comply with requests and hand over information about COVID-19 in nursing homes to state legislators — and admitted the stonewalling was “due to fear of” legal and political accountability” amid an investigation by the US Justice Department. That’s a reference to Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa’s admission during a private Feb. 10 meeting with lawmakers, first revealed by The Post.

In a statement, Emilia Decaudin, who serves as Queens County Democratic District Leader from the 37th Assembly District, said that their must be “consequences” for Cuomo’s actions and they need to be “repudiated” by state Democrats.

“Actions have consequences. I consider it my responsibility as a representative of the Democrats in my community to hold members of our party accountable, from City Council up to the Governor,” said Decaudin. “The continued wrong doing of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo must be repudiated, or else we are no better than the Republicans who fail to hold their own leaders accountable, out of fear and self-preservation.”

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Patrick Nelson, State Committee Member from the 113th Assembly District, said in a separate statement that, “Honesty, dignity, respect and the wellbeing of our state and country must always come before party allegiance. When a member of the Democratic Party does wrong, we seek to ensure that they are held accountable no matter how powerful they are, unlike in the Republican Party.”

The Cuomo administration is under investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn following reports that the governor’s top deputy told Democrat lawmakers that officials withheld the nursing home data, admitting that they “froze” due to fears that the figures could “be used against us” in a federal probe. The New York Post first revealed the damning admission.

In response to the scandal, New York state lawmakers are calling for Cuomo’s emergency powers, granted for coronavirus pandemic, to be stripped from him.

The statement via the lawmakers reads:

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 coronavirus 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. 


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