New York State Senate Democrats blocked a subpoena request Monday for nursing home Covid-19 fatality data, according to a report from the New York Post.
The blockage comes just days after NY Attorney General Letitia James released a report suggesting that Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo may have undercounted nursing home fatalities by as much as 50 percent. (RELATED: Gov. Cuomo Says ‘Incompetent Government Killed People’ While NY Has Second Highest COVID-19 Death Rate)
The subpoena was an official motion made during a virtual meeting by Sen. Thomas O’Mara, ranking Republican on the Investigations committee, who said there was more information to be had.
“We talked about [issuing a subpoena] on and off throughout the past year,” O’Mara (R-Elmira) said in a statement to the New York Post.
The motion was blocked by top Democrat Sen. James Skoufis, who argued that the motion was largely moot after state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker was forced to release more detailed information following the attorney general’s report.
Skoufis criticized O’Mara for launching an “ambush,” according to the Post. The senator was furious that O’Mara failed to inform him before making the motion and the exchange got heated before it was posted to Twitter by a local news station.
WATCH: Fireworks during a Senate Investigations and Government Operations meeting today after @SenatorOMara motions to subpoena the DOH over COVID-19 nursing home deaths. The motion wasn’t approved.
More from the meeting and hear from Sen. O’Mara on @CapitalTonight at 7! pic.twitter.com/ZtEBbnvKjz
— Seamus Lyman (@twinseamus) February 1, 2021
Skoufis did this despite issuing a threat last week to subpoena the DOH himself for the coronavirus death totals, but changed his positioning after the AG’s report was released.
O’Mara said that the Senate allowing the Cuomo team to get away without ramifications was a “dereliction of duty,” the Post reported.
“I, for one, do not believe we’re getting the full picture from Attorney General James’ report,” O’Mara said, according to the Post.
Gov. Cuomo’s office has refused to answer questions about the undercounting or their nursing home covid policies, instead sending all questions to the DOH. Cuomo previously used the low fatality numbers to push his book that touted his leadership in handling the virus. (RELATED: Andrew Cuomo Warned New Yorkers To Avoid Travel During Snowstorm — And Then He Drove To NYC)