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Andrew Cuomo criticizes ‘nuclear’ investigation into COVID response ahead of Capitol Hill interview

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Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo arrived on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to answer questions about his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemicThis included the infamous order to place infected patients in nursing homes together with vulnerable elderly people.

Cuomo, accompanied by his lawyers, entered the O’Neill House office building shortly before 10 a.m. and spoke to reporters outside before meeting with members of the House Special Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

“You know, four years ago, the Republican administration accused New York and other Democratic states of mismanaging the COVID situation, especially in nursing homes and they called for a Justice Department investigation into only four Democratic states,” Cuomo said.

“It’s ironic that today you hear complaints about the instrumentalization of the justice system, when they have nuclearized the justice system against democratic states,” former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told The Post and other reporters as he entered the O’Neill House Office Building before his testimony. Josh Christenson

“It’s ironic that today you hear complaints about the instrumentalization of the justice system when they have nuclearized the justice system against democratic states,” he added, pointing to federal investigations that have “found no wrongdoing.” He also claimed that his infamous March 25, 2020, order regarding nursing homes “followed federal guidelines.”

“It defies logic that you would require nursing homes that were unable to accommodate these COVID-positive patients because they didn’t have enough space to separate them from each other or because they didn’t have the personal protective equipment or staff to care for them at that moment,” House COVID subcommittee member Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) said before the hearing.

“What I’m really looking for are answers to the question of what led to this: Was there some kind of financial incentive for hospitals versus nursing homes versus the COVID facilities that were set up later?” she asked. “And we want to know who was responsible for that decision. And what information did they have that led them to that decision?”

“Even when the US Navy’s Comfort Hospital Ship (USNS) was in place and the South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island, a makeshift hospital for Covid patients, and even when the Javits Center was set up, they continued this deadly mandate,” Malliotakis stressed.

“I think we’re going to have a lot more clarity about what led to this deadly mandate that killed thousands of seniors,” she concluded. “The difference is that the CDC guidelines made a recommendation, which was certainly not a mandate.”

The Justice Department did not recommend Cuomo for prosecution based on the March 25, 2020, “must admit” order after reviewing the decision But reports from the New York Bar Association and the Empire Center for Public Policy found that hundreds more deaths occurred.

“Even when the US Navy had the comfort ship and the South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island, a makeshift hospital for Covid patients, even when the Javits Center was set up, they continued this deadly mandate,” Malliotakis stressed. RICHARD HARBUS

New York Attorney General Letitia James also announced in January 2021 at the end of an investigation that the Cuomo administration had underreported the number of deaths in nursing homes by more than 50 percent.

The Ministry of Health initially registered 8,711 deaths, but this number was later increased to over 13,000, according to James’ report.

The 76-page report examined 62 nursing homes and found that the state had underestimated deaths there by an average of 56%.%.

The following month, his top adviser apologized in a private phone call to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the data, saying the administration was “petrified” by the fact that federal prosecutors could use the data “against us.”

Advisor Melissa DeRosa accused the Trump administration of using the data as a “giant political football” before continuing to attack other Democratic governors such as Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Gavin Newsom of California and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan.

Then-President Donald Trump ordered “the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into us,” DeRosa told lawmakers. “And we basically froze.”

“The families of the victims deserve to be held accountable – not only for the disastrous ‘confession requirement’ policy, but also for the cover-up that followed,” said Brad Wenstrup (Republican of Ohio), chairman of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

“Because then we were in a situation where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice or to you, what we were going to say, was going to be used against us, while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” she added. “That played a very big role in that.”

DeRosa will appear for a separate transcribed interview with the House COVID subcommittee in the coming weeks, a spokeswoman for the panel told The Washington Post.

Another committee spokesman had previously said that former New York State Department of Health director Howard Zucker testified before the panel that DeRosa played a “critical” role in preparing and implementing the state’s authorization order.

Wenstrup also said the transcribed interview would address a $5 million book deal Cuomo secured during the pandemic.

Her lawyer, Gregory Morvillo, had previously denied her involvement.

“Melissa played no role in the development or implementation of the March 25 guidelines,” Morvillo said in a statement in December following Zucker’s testimony.

“As far as we know, Dr. Zucker has said that Melissa played a critical role in the COVID response as the governor’s secretary, and that is true.”

More than 80,000 New Yorkers have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began through May 2023, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows.

House COVID Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) promised in a statement that “former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will be held accountable before Congress for the deadly nursing home policies during the pandemic that were enacted under his watch.”

“This transcribed interview before the Special Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic will delve deeper into the March 25 order than any investigation before it and will hopefully provide the answers that so many devastated New Yorkers have been desperately seeking since 2020,” Wenstrup said.

“The families of the victims deserve to be held accountable – not only for the disastrous ‘confession requirement’ policy, but also for the cover-up that resulted from it,” he added.

Wenstrup also said the transcribed interview would address a $5 million book deal Cuomo secured during the pandemic.

The COVID panel had threatened to subpoena Cuomo to testify last year — and later made good on its threat before negotiating a time and place for him to answer lawmakers’ questions.

“It was inappropriate to be worried about a book deal,” Malliotakis told the Washington Post. “And then there were the numbers – the numbers that the attorney general came up with were understated to keep it looking like he was doing a great job in New York when the death toll showed the opposite.”

Cuomo resigned in August 2021 after an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James concluded that he had sexually harassed or abused 11 women during his tenure.

Since leaving office, the former governor has reportedly been seeking a political comeback, with insiders recently telling The Washington Post that he may challenge Eric Adams for New York City mayor in 2025.




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