Gov. Andrew Cuomo owes New Yorkers an apology for how he handled the COVID-19 pandemic, and an investigation must be done into the “illegal cover-up” by his administration of how many people died as a result of his executive order directing nursing homes to accept patients who had or were suspected of having COVID-19, says former Gov. George Pataki.
“[Cuomo’s] chief of staff apologized to Democratic politicians for inconveniencing them by covering up the number of nursing home deaths,” Pataki said on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria.”
“They acknowledged the cover-up, but they’ve never apologized to the people who lost their loved ones or the people of New York who wanted to find out what was going on.”
Pataki, pointing to a leaked transcript of a call during which a top aide of the governor admitted the office withheld data on nursing home deaths out of concerns that they could be used in a federal investigation, and to reports that the Cuomo administration underreported deaths, accused Cuomo of continuing to make excuses.
“So now it’s the people who visited the nursing homes or the staff who worked in the nursing homes,” Pataki said. “It’s not the 9,000 people with COVID who were released from hospitals into the nursing homes when the nursing homes were desperately saying, ‘We’re not prepared, we can’t deal with this, don’t do this to us.’”
A bipartisan probe must be held, Pataki said, and investigators must have the power to issue subpoenas so they can “get to the bottom of exactly what happened here…we need the truth.”
After the revelations, several Democrat lawmakers are also calling for Cuomo’s executive emergency powers to be stripped.
The governor denies that his office either withheld or misrepresented information about deaths in the state’s nursing homes.
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