New York Republicans are going after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for his role in covering up the true number of coronavirus-related deaths in the state’s nursing homes — and they aren’t holding anything back.
According to the New York Post, Republicans in the New York state legislature officially announced Thursday that they will be moving forward on a resolution that would establish a commission “to gather facts and evidence” related to Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic with regard to nursing homes, the first step in what could potentially turn into impeachment proceedings against the Democratic governor.
The Post says the bill will be formally proposed by the Assembly Republican Conference as soon as next week, and would “create a bipartisan panel tasked with ‘examining the state’s method of administration and conduct in all matters relating to nursing homes and long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.'”
According to WHAM in New York, the development comes just “a day after news that the FBI and federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating Cuomo’s COVID task force.”
“It is not fair”
The Post reports that if established, the commission would have 60 days to issue a recommendation to state lawmakers on whether to move forward on impeaching Cuomo. The bill on the panel would need to pass both houses of the state legislature, however, and Democrats have strongholds on both, reports note.
Despite the obstacles, the governor may still find himself facing a removal effort. After all, Republicans have all the ammunition they need to take Cuomo down — or at the very least destroy his future political aspirations — after one of his top aides, Melissa DeRosa, admitted in a call with state lawmakers that the governor’s administration knowingly withheld the real number of deaths in the state’s nursing homes because they feared a federal investigation by the Trump Justice Department.
With President Joe Biden in place, they apparently felt more confident that they wouldn’t face prosecution.
“We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, and what we start saying, was going to be used against us and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” DeRosa said on the call, according to The New York Times.
“I do understand the position that you were put in,” she added to lawmakers. “I know that it is not fair.”
“One of the most alarming scandals”
While Newsweek concedes that the commission on Cuomo’s shortcomings “might never come to fruition,” Republicans including New York Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay don’t seem willing to give up so quickly on their quest for accountability.
“The Cuomo Administration’s nursing home cover-up is one of the most alarming scandals we’ve seen in state government,” Barclay said, according to Newsweek.
“It is incumbent upon the Legislature to undertake a comprehensive, bipartisan review of the Cuomo Administration’s policies, decisions, and actions on this matter and render a decision on what steps must be taken to hold the governor accountable,” he added.