De Blasio Suggests Campaign Contributions From Nursing Homes Impacted Cuomo’s Decision-Making

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio repeatedly suggested that campaign contributions from nursing home and healthcare companies may have impacted Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home orders.

“The investigation into nursing home deaths must be free to examine campaign contributions from the nursing home industry,” de Blasio told AM New York on Sunday. He expressed similar concerns during a Monday press conference.

In response to a question asked at the 49:40 mark about decreasing faith in government, de Blasio said that people do trust the messaging of doctors as they relate to the pandemic.

He also said that “we need to make sure there are full investigations here into everything that happened… the allegations about the nursing homes: what was covered up, and what was done as well? What happened? Why were these lives lost? And did it have any connections to campaign contributions to the governor from the nursing home industry?”

“I think any investigation here has to follow the money,” de Blasio added.

Some of Cuomo’s biggest donors are associated with the healthcare industry. The Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) donated $1.15 million to the New York Democratic Committee in 2018 through its trade association, the GNYHA Management Corp. Cuomo controls the Democratic Committee, which spent most of its 2018 funds on his reelection campaign, according to the Empire Center.

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 2: New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo (C); New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio (2nd R); New York state Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker (2nd L); Kenneth Raske (L), president and CEO of the Greater New York Hospital Association; and Bea Grause (R), president of the Healthcare Association of New York state hold a news conference on the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in New York on March 2, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

The healthcare workers’ union, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, also gave large amounts in support of Cuomo and his agenda. 1199 SEIU has given $95,250 to Cuomo’s electoral campaigns since 2014, and spent $5.9 million on lobbying in favor of Cuomo’s proposed healthcare reforms, according to Forbes. (RELATED: Feds Investigating Company That Got $25 Million After Donating To Cuomo)

Cuomo issued an order requiring nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients on March 25, 2020. It was revoked on May 10, 2020, but only after more than 4,000 nursing home residents died of coronavirus, according to a report from the New York Attorney General’s office. After issuing the order, Cuomo spearheaded legislation that granted healthcare companies and officials broad immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits, according to The Guardian.