Those who made Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo an exemplar of pandemic leadership are abandoning his side as news of his alleged cover up of the amount of nursing home deaths in New York continues to unravel.
Cuomo issued a March 25, 2020 order that required nursing homes to accept recovering COVID-19 patients from the hospital. In May, Cuomo rescinded the order. Cuomo’s government omitted individuals who lived in nursing homes or long-term care facilities from their data on nursing home deaths because, according to a May Daily Caller News Foundation report, while the individual may have contracted the disease in the nursing home, they died in the hospital.
Over the course of the nearly two month period when Cuomo’s directive was active, more than 9,000 COVID-19 positive patients were forced back into nursing homes, which was 40% higher than the state’s official tally, according to The Associated Press. In late January, Cuomo’s administration admitted that at least 12,743 nursing home residents had died from COVID-19 — a number 50% larger than the previous figure.
The New York Post reported that Cuomo’s secretary to the governor, Melissa DeRosa, told New York Democratic leaders the Cuomo administration withheld information regarding nursing home deaths out of fear the data would “be used against us” in a federal investigation. She told lawmakers the administration “froze” “Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” the New York Post reported.
CNN has reportedly forbid Chris from interviewing and covering his brother, as reported by USA Today.
Democratic New York state Sen. Jessica Ramos followed up the news of Cuomo’s coverup by calling for a “full investigation” into the Cuomo administration’s management of COVID-19 nursing home data Feb. 13, which she said they “knowingly chose to lie” about. Ramos was joined by other New York Democrats in calling for Cuomo to be stripped of his emergency powers.
Democratic members of the New York State Assembly also called for Cuomo to be stripped of emergency powers in a letter circulated to other assembly members, according to the the New York Post.
The letter also accused Cuomo of federal obstruction of justice. “It is now unambiguously clear that this governor has engaged in an intentional obstruction of justice, as outlined in Title 18, Chapter 73 of the United States Code,” the letter read, according to the New York Post. The letter was signed by nine Democrats, and severely angered Cuomo. Democratic Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim, one of the letter’s signatories, said Cuomo personally called him to lambaste and threaten him.
“He goes off about how I hadn’t seen his wrath and anger, that he would destroy me and he would go out tomorrow and start telling how bad of a person I am and I would be finished,” Kim told the New York Times.
Republican members of the New York State Assembly also took action against Cuomo by suggesting the legislature should form an impeachment commission to “gather facts and evidence” surrounding the Cuomo COVID-19 scandal, Republican Minority Leader Will Barclay said.
“The Cuomo Administration’s nursing home cover-up is one of the most alarming scandals we’ve seen in state government,” Barclay told Fox News in a statement. “It is incumbent upon the Legislature to undertake a comprehensive, bipartisan review of the Cuomo Administration’s policies, decisions and actions on this matter and render a decision on what steps must be taken to hold the governor accountable,” Barclay added.
Kim confirmed that the New York State Assembly was moving toward an impeachment probe in an interview on the “Skullduggery” podcast. “Of course, I’m prepared to comply and spend as much time handing over as much evidence as they want,” he said of his previous claims about Cuomo’s bullying tactics. In an op-ed for Newsweek, Kim called for the impeachment of his state’s governor. “It is time to be brave, to hold him accountable, to investigate his cover-up of nursing home information,” Kim wrote in the op-ed. (RELATED: 7 Headlines That Might Have Happened If Andrew Cuomo Were A Republican)
Eleven New York Democratic leaders then introduced a resolution to censure Cuomo on Feb. 22. “During this entire ordeal where the governor claims to not have had time and human resources to comply with requests for information, the governor did have time to write a book congratulating himself for New York’s COVID-19 response, have a self-congratulatory poster created and circulated before the worst of the pandemic was,” the resolution’s text said.
Other Democrats, such as Democratic New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, said Cuomo’s tendencies to try and intimidate his political rivals is nothing new. “That’s classic Andrew Cuomo. A lot of people in New York state have received those phone calls,” De Blasio said in response to the alleged incident involving Cuomo and Kim on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “You know, the bullying is nothing new,” De Blasio went on to say.
National politicians have also called for a look into Cuomo’s actions over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “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,” in a Feb. 19 statement.
— Katie Glueck (@katieglueck) February 19, 2021
Republican members of the House Oversight Committee have requested that Democratic Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney subpoena Cuomo to testify in a Feb. 24 letter. “Additionally, we formally request a thorough investigation by the Oversight Committee… We owe it to the thousands of families who lost loved ones because of Governor Cuomo’s alleged recklessness,” the letter read, according to Fox News.
Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating the Cuomo cover up as well, a Feb. 18 report from The Albany Times-Union claimed. Former Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General John B. Daukas argued in an Feb. 22 op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal that, based on his current knowledge, Cuomo’s actions could have been “a conspiracy to defraud the United States and… obstruct justice.”
Lindsey Boylan, whose LinkedIn page says she served as Deputy Secretary for Economic Development & Special Advisor to Cuomo, posted a thread on Twitter Dec. 5, which claimed working under Cuomo was the “most toxic” working environment she’d ever been in. Boylan later tweeted out on Dec. 13 that Cuomo had sexually harassed her “for years,” and that “Many saw it, and watched.” In a Feb. 24 Medium post, Boylan expounded on her experiences working for Cuomo and outlined how he allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted her by kissing her “on the lips” at work and suggesting they play “strip poker” on a flight returning from official business. Cuomo has denied Boylan’s accusations repeatedly.
Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched.
I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years.
— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) December 13, 2020
Cuomo’s popularity has suffered a hit amidst these ongoing scandals, and is just holding on to a positive approval rating of 51%, a Siena College poll found. A petition to impeach Cuomo, launched by Republican New York State Assemblyman Kieran Lalor, garnered 18,000 signatures in just three days.