A New York Democratic lawmaker blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “egregious” cover-up of the nursing home scandal Monday, calling for a thorough investigation into his administration’s failure to protect the state’s most vulnerable population.
The governor’s nursing home debacle returned to the headlines last week when his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, admitted on a call with Empire State Democrats that the administration had withheld the true number of COVID-19-related deaths at nursing homes from DOJ investigators over fears that the data could “be used against us,” as first reported by the New York Post.
Assemblyman Ron Kim told “The Story” on Monday that DeRosa “implicated all of us listening in to that call to their cover-up.”
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“As state lawmakers, this is not about being a Democrat or Republican or whichever party you’re from. We have a moral duty to speak up against their egregious actions and hold everyone involved accountable, including the governor,” Kim told host Martha MacCallum.
Cuomo defended the data reporting in a news conference earlier Monday, telling reporters that “all the deaths in nursing homes and hospitals were fully, publicly and accurately reported.” The governor also claimed there was a “delay” in releasing the data because his administration was busy managing the pandemic response.
“If there’s nothing to hide, why didn’t they hand over the information when we asked for it?” Kim said. “The information was available. They could have just disclosed it. But they chose not to, so there’s a distrust among the public right now.”
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Kim, who lost an uncle to the coronavirus in a New York senior care facility, called for a “thorough investigation” to provide the “15,000 families that lost loved ones and the families that have loved ones at the nursing homes still suffering … a sense of justice and trust again in our state’s ability to protect them.”
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“I do believe we need a thorough investigation, whether that be [an] independent commission or the [state] attorney general or the federal government,” Kim said, “and that needs to happen as soon as possible.”