Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his health department’s top official defiantly defended the administration’s nursing home policy on Friday, as the Democratic governor said he should have provided more public information “sooner” but he also “should have been more aggressive” in fighting “lies” by his “crazy” Republican opponents.
Cuomo made the comments during a press conference, saying he was “complacent” in not addressing the “falsities” and “attacks” against himself.
This, after the Democratic governor remained silent about a watchdog report that said Cuomo’s nursing home directive was likely responsible for more than 1,000 additional resident deaths during the coronavirus pandemic, despite numerous denials by the administration that their order was heavily to blame.
A top Cuomo aide admitted recently that the administration purposefully withheld accurate COVID-19 death information from the Justice Department who was probing nursing home cases in four states including New York.
Cuomo insisted on Friday that the information his administration provided was accurate at the time but admitted that he “did not produce public information fast enough.”
“This creates a void,” he said. “And conspiracy theories and politics and rumors fill that void and you can’t allow inaccurate information to go unanswered.”
In a lengthy monologue, Cuomo said “I was not aggressive enough in knocking down the falsitities. We were busy. We were doing our job. We’re trying to save lives. No excuses.”
Despite his efforts to chalk up the drama filled weeks with questions swirling around his handling of the pandemic, especially after the administration was forced to admit nursing home deaths had topped 15,000, New York lawmakers have banded together in bipartisanship, with calls to strip him of his executive powers to make decisions regarding COVID-19.
Republicans are also spearheading an effort to create a commission to impeach Cuomo, while others are demanding he resign from his post.