Following the Monday press conference in which Andrew Cuomo gave an unsatisfactory explanation regarding his mishandling of Nursing Home data, New York State Democrats lashed out at the Governor for saying that his team opted to prioritize the federal inquiry and informed state lawmakers their request for data would be “paused” in the meantime.
Aiming to justify his administration’s workings, Cuomo said, “We gave precedence to the DOJ. We told the assembly that, we told the Senate that and that’s what we did. We were also in the midst of managing a pandemic.” He added that the disconnect between his office and state lawmakers was the result of a “breakdown in communication between the staff and members of the legislature.”
In response to this, numerous Democratic lawmakers, including New York State Sen. Jessica Ramos, denied that Cuomo’s office ever informed them of its decision. “Trash. No one believes you,” Ramos Tweeted, saying, “At no point did the Administration notify the legislature about a DOJ investigation. People died and Cuomo lied then he had the gall to write a book.”
Cuomo asserted that state legislatures were “wrong” to suggest they were never informed about the delay for their data request. He expressed regret over the delays in releasing data, admitting the requests “should have been prioritized.”
New York State Sens. Alessandra Biaggi and Gustavo Rivera also took aim at Cuomo’s remarks. Both lawmakers said they first learned of the DOJ’s probe into New York nursing home deaths in local newspapers, not from the governor’s office. “No, @NYGovCuomo, you did not tell the *entire* Senate or Assembly that there was a DOJ investigation, as the reason why you didn’t share the nursing home numbers,” Biaggi said on Twitter. “I found out about a DOJ investigation with the rest of NY’ers in the @nypost story Thursday night.”
New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, also pushed back on Cuomo’s claim, and Sen. Julia Salazar said, “The Governor keeps trying to evade responsibility for his misjudgment (an understatement) in concealing the number of nursing home deaths by claiming that he’d informed the legislature. But this contradicts the point of his administration’s private call with legislators last week. If the Governor had actually informed the legislature months ago that his office was withholding the data they had on total nursing home deaths, there would’ve been no need for them to have a call with a group of legislators last week to inform them of this for the first time.”
Meanwhile, New York Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro called for impeachment proceedings and a criminal investigation to be launched against Cuomo, saying, “We’ve known all along that this is the most corrupted and least transparent administration in America. We now know it’s also the deadliest.”