Andrew Cuomo Subpoenaed In GOP-Led Probe Of Nursing Home COVID Deaths

Andrew Cuomo Subpoenaed In GOP-Led Probe Of Nursing Home COVID Deaths

Authored by Bill Pan via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

More than two years after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace, a House subcommittee on Tuesday issued a subpoena for him to testify about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes across the state during his tenure.

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a file photo. (Seth Wenig/AP Photo)

In a letter to the former governor, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic demanded that he testify about his March 2020 directive that ordered long-term care facilities to take in patients infected with COVID.

This misguided decision effectively admitted thousands of COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes, causing predictable but deadly consequences for New York’s most vulnerable,” the Republican-led subcommittee told Mr. Cuomo, who was hailed by Democrats and members of the mainstream media for his leadership during the early days of the pandemic.

In addition to the March 2020 order itself, the subcommittee said they have found “troubling evidence” suggesting the Cuomo administration “at best downplayed” the order’s impact and “at worst covered them up.”

Death Numbers

One example the subcommittee cited is a January 2021 report complied by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who recently gained national attention for initiating a civil lawsuit that led to a historic $454 million fine on former President Donald Trump.

In that 76-page report, Ms. James rebuked the Cuomo administration’s official tally of about 8,700 nursing home residents who died from COVID-19, accusing the state of depressing the death toll by only counting those that occurred in the facilities while leaving out anyone who had died after being transferred to a hospital.

Extrapolating from a survey of about 10 percent of New York’s nursing homes, Ms. James estimated that the actual number of COVID deaths related to such facilities “may have been undercounted by as much as 50 percent.” Just hours after the report’s release, the state’s Department of Health (DOH) added some 3,800 hospital deaths, bringing the official number up to 12,473.

In the week following the report, the state DOH website updated the number again, which was then 13,163. A week after that, a group of Senate Democrats released a letter the Cuomo administration gave them. That letter raised the total COVID-19 death toll in nursing homes and other adult-care facilities to 15,049, apparently underscoring Ms. James’ estimate.

‘Unwillingness to Cooperate’

The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), said they have been contacting Mr. Cuomo to schedule a voluntary interview since last March. However, the former governor “repeatedly and consistently dismissed, deflected, or ignored all questions or requests” from the lawmakers, leaving them no choice but to issue a subpoena compelling his testimony.

Your unwillingness to seriously cooperate with our requests and to negotiate a reasonable date to participate in a transcribed interview has unjustifiably delayed our investigation,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “This is unacceptable.”

Rita Galvin, an attorney for Mr. Cuomo, disputed such characterization, saying that she had previously provided the subcommittee with multiple dates for an August interview but never got any response until Tuesday.

“To be clear, Governor Cuomo has been and remains cooperative,” Ms. Glavin wrote in a letter to the subcommittee, urging the lawmakers to “reconsider issuing a subpoena.”

Rich Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Mr. Cuomo, called the subpoena an “obvious press charade.” The former governor’s pandemic response, he said, has been reviewed by the Justice Department of both Trump and Biden administrations, as well as Congress and the Manhattan District Attorney, but none resulted in any charges.

New York followed the guidance put forth by the Trump administration in March of 2020—as did other Democratic and Republican states,” Mr. Azzopardi said in a statement. “If they have a problem with that, they should look in the mirror. Congress knows this, but it’s not about the facts, this is about politics.”

A three-term governor and celebrated Democrat superstar who won an Emmy for his daily COVID briefings, Mr. Cuomo stepped down in August 2021, about a year after he reached the heights of his political career.

Although Mr. Cuomo’s downfall began with the scandal surrounding COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, it was a series of allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace behavior that dealt a fatal blow to his political future. His resignation announcement came just one week after Ms. James released a separate report that gave credence to his accusers, paying the way for then-Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul to become the first woman to be elected to the Empire State’s top political office.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/07/2024 – 12:05

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