State Watch

Cuomo calls blaming his office for nursing home deaths a 'political charade'

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday denied his office was at fault for the coronavirus deaths of more than 6,000 nursing home residents in the state, calling such accusations a "political charade."

Cuomo defended his office's response to the pandemic during an interview with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.

"Yes, we had more people die in nursing homes than anywhere else, because we had more people die, because the federal government missed the boat and never told us this virus was coming from Europe and not from China," Cuomo said. "And January, February, March, before they did the European travel ban, 3 million people came from Europe and brought the virus to New York and the federal government didn't know and the federal government and the CDC and all of them failed to handle this pandemic and warn this nation."

"So, New York had more cases, more deaths, and more deaths in nursing home because that's who the virus affects. It affects senior citizens, we know that. You look at any state and they had a tremendous number of deaths in nursing homes," he added. "It's all a political charade, and it's an ugly one frankly, to talk about a number of deaths and suggest there was politics added."

Cuomo has made similar arguments recently regarding his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. About 6 percent of the state's more than 100,000 nursing home residents have died since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

"The nursing home is an unfortunate situation on two levels. No. 1, people in nursing homes died. The nursing home is pure politics - the Republicans in Congress, they think there's a vulnerability," Cuomo told New York's WAMC-AM last week, blaming New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin and saying critics of his handling of the issue were attempting to draw attention away from the federal response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"We had the worst case in the United States because the federal government had no idea what was going on," Cuomo said. "Where was the CDC? And where was the NIH? And where was everybody?"

Outbrain