Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political fortunes have clearly taken a sharp turn for the worse in recent days as new, troubling details have emerged regarding his administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic among those living in nursing homes and similar facilities.
While Cuomo has faced ample criticism from Republicans for months, he is now experiencing bipartisan backlash — including in the form of a call by U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for a full investigation and to possibly strip him of his emergency powers.
“Return to co-equal governance”
According to the Daily Wire, Ocasio-Cortez is among the latest prominent New York Democrat to join in on the pushback against the once-lauded governor’s leadership during the ongoing public health crisis.
The surprising development comes on the heels of a top Cuomo aide’s admission that the governor’s office downplayed the true death tally among elderly nursing home residents across the state.
In a statement on the matter, Ocasio-Cortez asserted: “I support our state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19.”
She went on to lament the fact that “[t]housands of vulnerable New Yorkers lost their lives in nursing homes throughout the pandemic,” arguing that their “loved ones and the public deserve answers and transparency from their elected leadership.”
The lawmaker cited remarks by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, who attempted to explain the Cuomo administration’s behavior during a recent conference call with state lawmakers, insisting that her “remarks warrant a full investigation.”
“He should resign and be handcuffed”
DeRosa’s remarks were subsequently leaked to the press and detailed her claim that accurate numbers were withheld in an attempt to prevent possible blowback from President Donald Trump and his Department of Justice.
A number of New York Republicans are calling for Cuomo’s resignation while fellow Democrats have increasingly advocated for him to lose his emergency powers. Both sides of the aisle are largely on board for a full investigation into the matter.
In a recent Fox News op-ed, conservative commentator Deroy Murdock documented the rapid decline of Cuomo’s once-bright political career, much of which stems from a March 25 order that called for convalescing COVID-19 patients to be returned to elderly care facilities.
Last month, New York Attorney General Letitia James added to the scandal with her office’s report that found Cuomo’s team had underreported COVID-related nursing home deaths by as much as 50%, taking his administration to task for how it classified certain deaths to downplay the situation.
As Murdock concluded, Cuomo needs to issue an unequivocal apology to New Yorkers who suffered under his plan, adding: “Next, he should resign and be handcuffed.”