U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, a Democrat from New York, recently paid a visit to Newsmax where she said that the state Assembly’s Judiciary Committee should still keep investigating soon-to-be former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the nursing homes amid the COVID pandemic and just accept the resignation.
“We [shouldn’t] just accept [Cuomo’s] resignation in lieu of accountability. And so, I’ve been pushing the Assembly Judiciary Committee to pursue and continue its investigation because they were looking at all facets of this. They were looking at the sexual harassment, they were looking at his directive to put COVID-positive patients into the nursing homes with our most vulnerable — even when there were alternatives set up like the U.S. Navy Comfort ship that President Trump sent to New York City,” Malliotakis said during her interview on The Chris Salcedo Show Wednesday.
“So,” she goes on to add, “I think that the Assembly Judiciary Committee must move forward with this … [and] sheriffs and district attorneys from around the state, from various counties, also pursuing to see if there was criminality in … [Cuomo’s] sexual harassment. And I think that this must continue. We must push for those answers.”
According to a report issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office on the “Nursing Home Response to [the] COVID-19 Pandemic,” the number of deaths attributed to nursing homes as a result of COVID-19 was underreported by 55.74%. According to the OAG report, the New York Department of Health stated that 1,229 people died from COVID-19 associated with nursing homes. But what the attorney general’s report reveals is that upon closer inspection, the actual number was 1,914 deaths. That’s a marked difference of over 50%.
That report was issued on Jan. 28. According to a timeline provided by New York news station CBS 2, on Feb. 12, Melissa DeRosa, then Cuomo’s top aide, issued a statement explaining that the Cuomo’s administration delayed delivery of the nursing home data for fear it would be “used against” them by the Trump administration.
New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim decried DeRosa’s comments, stating that “you can’t hide information because you think you could be politically hurt in the process.”
There’s still a lot that Cuomo needs to answer for during his tenure in office, particularly over the course of the last year. We all know his awful decision making led to those unnecessary COVID deaths in nursing homes.
There’s also evidence that supports the allegation that he tried to keep the actual number of deaths that occurred from that decision from the public. People who lost loved ones deserve justice and closure.
Cuomo needs to be held accountable for both the sexual harassment allegations and what he did during the pandemic.