To say that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is having a bad year would be an incredible understatement, given his gross mishandling of an issue related to COVID-19 deaths in his state’s nursing homes.
As Fox News reported, a scandal involving the underreporting of COVID-19-related nursing home deaths, which was confirmed this week in a bombshell revelation by one of the governor’s aides, has prompted Democrat lawmakers across the Empire State to call for the immediate removal of Cuomo’s use of emergency powers.
“It is not fair”
As the New York Post reported, secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa revealed on a recent telephone conference with New York Democrats that the governor’s office rejected a request for an updated death toll because they were afraid of retaliation from former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ).
She made clear that the governor’s office was afraid of Trump’s attempt to turn the situation into a “political football.”
“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa said, according to the Post. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”
DeRosa said the possibility of investigation or other actions taken by Trump’s DOJ “played a large role” in their decision to not reveal the true extent of the nursing home death toll at the height of the pandemic. She then offered what was essentially the governor’s office’s first apology.
“So we do apologize,” DeRosa reportedly said on the call. “I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans.”
Democrats lash out
DeRosa’s apology was reportedly not well received, which was evidenced in a stunning report from Fox News indicating that a whopping 14 New York state senators have banded together in a mass call for Cuomo to be stripped of the emergency powers granted to him for the duration of the pandemic.
“While COVID-19 has tested the limits of our people and state — and, early during the pandemic, required the government to restructure decision making to render rapid, necessary public health judgements — it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate,” a joint statement from the group read.
The desire to remove the powers now, rather than wait until they naturally expire at the end of April, was also made clear in their statement.
“While the executive’s authority to issue directives is due to expire on April 30, we urge the Senate to advance and adopt a repeal as expeditiously as possible,” the Democrats said, according to Fox.
As WBNG reported, freshman Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) issued a call on Friday for Cuomo to resign immediately, even classifying his misstep as “criminal.”