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Nine Democratic state assembly members have signed a letter to colleagues accusing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of obstructing justice, and they request that fellow lawmakers set aside party loyalty now that more details regarding the nursing home scandal have come to light.
Cuomo’s administration recently admitted that data about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes were intentionally withheld from New York lawmakers. Cuomo is accused of contributing to nursing home deaths by forcing COVID-positive patients into nursing homes. The virus is especially deadly for elderly populations.
“We implore you to set aside any concerns of loyalty or disloyalty to this Governor, or that this matter is politicized,” the letter read. “We must absolutely consider above all the sanctity of the democratic institution that we call the Legislature of the State of New York, and resolutely pursue justice in the face of an executive who we can say without hesitation has engaged in intentional criminal wrongdoing.”
The letter also accuses Cuomo of obstructing justice “[i]n an attempt to circumvent a United States Department of Justice probe, and despite a joint hearing held by the State Legislature last August in which representatives of the Cuomo administration were compelled to testify and answer crucial questions to our body.”
The uncle of New York Democratic assemblyman Ron Kim died in a nursing home from complications related to COVID, and Kim is introducing a bill to repeal the amendments passed last year that extended Cuomo’s emergency powers — something that was also mentioned in the letter.
Assembly members went on to say that this alone would not be enough, stating that failure to do this “and engage in additional measures to seek the realization of justice” would make them “complicit” in the obstruction “and conscious omission of nursing home deaths data.FOX News
Finally, the letter even suggests the possibility of starting “impeachment proceedings” against Cuomo.
A top aide to Cuomo apologized to Democratic lawmakers last week for not releasing New York’s nursing-home death toll from COVID-19.
Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa stated that “we froze” out numbers that she felt would “be used against us,” and publicly apologized for putting them in a difficult position over the death toll.
DeRosa’s apology comes after the release of a report at the end of January from state Attorney General Letitia James, stating that New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) undercounted COVID-19 deaths among residents of nursing homes by approximately 50%.
Matt Loede contributed to this post.