State Watch

Top NY Republicans seek to oust Cuomo, other officials after nursing home revelations

Top New York Republicans have taken to Twitter to call for an investigation into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and other state officials following a Thursday report that a top aide admitted the government withheld the state’s nursing home coronavirus death toll. 

Several Republicans from the Empire State issued statements after the report, arguing for a probe to be launched into the government’s reported decision to withhold nursing home coronavirus data, with some going so far as to call for Cuomo to be impeached and removed from office. 

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) wrote in a statement that “Governor Cuomo, the Secretary to the Governor, and his senior team must be prosecuted immediately — both by the Attorney General of New York State and the U.S. Department of Justice.”

“This bombshell admission of a coverup and the remarks by the Secretary to the Governor indicating intent to obstruct any federal investigation is a stunning and criminal abuse of power,” she continued. 

Stefanik went on to say, “The families who lost loved ones, New Yorkers, and all Americans deserve accountability from the U.S. Department of Justice that will be independent and not swayed by the desperate political pressure from Governor Cuomo.” 

The New York Post reported Thursday that Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa told state Democratic leaders during a video conference that the Cuomo administration had ignored a legislative request to tally the death toll in August because it was “right around the same time, [then-President Trump] turns this into a giant political football.”

In audio of the two-hour call obtained by the outlet, DeRosa noted that Trump had directed the Justice Department to launch an investigation into the state.

DeRosa in the call apologized on behalf of Cuomo’s administration, with Cuomo’s senior adviser Rich Azzopardi saying in a statement following the Post’s report that producing documents for the federal government was a “priority.” 

Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.) also released a statement “demanding answers and justice” through a “full investigation” by the Justice Department “into the Cuomo Administration’s handling of nursing homes and COVID-19.” 

“Gov. Cuomo not only recklessly put New York seniors in harms’ way, he and his Administration admittedly hid the facts from the Department of Justice,” Garbarino added. “This, along with the refusal to respect the several Freedom of Information Law requests, turned a misjudgment in policy into what very well may be one of the largest criminal cover-ups in New York’s history.” 

New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy also condemned the Cuomo administration in his own statement, writing, “Andrew Cuomo has abused his power and destroyed the trust placed in the office of governor. Prosecution and impeachment discussions must begin right away.”

New York state lawmakers vocalized their discontent, with state Sen. Jim Tedisco (R) saying Cuomo “has totally lost the trust of the people he represents and violated his oath of office.” 

Cuomo and top state officials received similar rebukes from Democrats, including state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, who tweeted Thursday that the withholding of nursing home fatality data was “a betrayal of the public trust.”

On Friday, a group of 14 Democratic state senators issued a statement demanding the emergency powers granted to Cuomo amid the pandemic be rescinded, writing, “it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate.”

New York House GOP lawmakers earlier this month sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting that it subpoena Cuomo over New York’s treatment of nursing homes during the pandemic.

Updated at 12:39 p.m.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Andrew Garbarino article of impeachment coronavirus deaths COVID-19 nursing home deaths Donald Trump Elise Stefanik Justice Department New York Nursing home The New York Post

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