Rand Paul calls for Cuomo to be impeached over coronavirus response

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWatchdog calls for probe into Gohmert 'disregarding public health guidance' on COVID-19 Massie plans to donate plasma after testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies After trillions in tax cuts for the rich, Republicans refuse to help struggling Americans MORE (R-Ky.) called Wednesday for the impeachment of New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoMarlee Matlin: 'Unfathomable' that White House doesn't have sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings California Democrats back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup New York may be undercounting coronavirus deaths in nursing homes: AP MORE (D) over his handling of the state's coronavirus outbreak.

"The people we are lauding are actually making catastrophic decisions," he said.

"I think Gov. Cuomo should be impeached ... for the disastrous decision he made to send patients with coronavirus back to nursing homes. ... Virtually half his people who died were in nursing homes," Paul said on Fox News's "Rundown" morning podcast.

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According to data from the New York Times, the state of New York reported nearly 6,500 fatalities due to COVID-19 stemming from residents of long-term care facilities.

Earlier in the show, Paul called in to question the pandemic lockdown imposed in New York in March, referencing the surge of cases across the state despite the shelter-in-place orders.

"New York had a lockdown and had 30,000 people die. New York had the worst death rate of any place in the world amidst a lockdown. So perhaps a lockdown didn't do any good, and perhaps a lockdown killed our economy but didn't do anything to stem the tide of a virus."

Paul, a physician, said he thinks pandemic lockdowns "killed the economy but didn't do any good for trying to contain the virus."

Commenting on recently reimposed restrictions in states that are seeing new COVID-19 spikes, Paul said individuals "need to assess their own risks with regard to the virus," saying that for "those under 18, the risk of mortality is about one in a million or a little bit less. For those ages 18 to 45, it's about 10 out of 100,000 for the mortality.

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"Under age 45, this disease we're looking at is less dangerous than the seasonal flu. Above age 45, it's more dangerous than the seasonal flu," he said.

A spokesman for Cuomo said Paul's attack was a retaliation to the governor's remarks about Kentucky Republicans during a press conference call earlier on Wednesday.

"Every study has shown that when you starve the state and local governments, the economy does not recover as quickly," Cuomo said during the call Wednesday. "Also, it is really the epitome of hypocrisy for these Republican senators, particularly from the southeast, to say they refuse to fund state and local governments, because they're concerned about the amount of spending that the federal government is doing."

Cuomo accused Paul's home state of taking more from the federal government than paying back into it.

"Kentucky takes $37 billion more every year than they pay in to the federal government. If a Senator from Kentucky was concerned about the federal budget, well the first place to start is in your own home, the first place to start is in your own activity," he said.

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The spokesman also cited growing nursing home fatalities due to COVID-19 in states such as Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisMarlee Matlin: 'Unfathomable' that White House doesn't have sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Florida sheriff bans deputies from wearing masks after refusing to enforce order DeSantis rules out 2024 White House run: 'Total garbage' MORE' leadership, which reported 2,400 of the state's total coronavirus related deaths affected residents or staff at long-term care facilities, the Miami Herald reported Monday

Paul, who became the first senator to contract the novel coronavirus back in March, has been vocal about the country's pandemic response, repeatedly saying that a small subset of health experts should not be making the rules on their own.

The Republican senator publicly questioned leading infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci defends voting by mail if 'you don't want to take the chance' in person Museum unveils new Fauci bobbleheads after previous edition sells out Marlee Matlin: 'Unfathomable' that White House doesn't have sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings MORE, saying in June that the epidemiologist advising the nation's response to COVID-19 should provide "more optimism" about America's approach.