Andrew Cuomo’s top aide’s private confession stating that the New York governor had lied about the true number of seniors dying in nursing homes led representatives from both parties to call for a full investigation and prosecution of the governor.
“Governor Cuomo, the Secretary to the Governor and his staff should be prosecuted immediately, both by the New York State Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice,” wrote Congressman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) in a statement.
“This bombshell admission of a cover-up and the Secretary of the Governor’s comments indicating an intent to obstruct any federal investigation is a breathtaking and criminal abuse of power,” Stefanik continued.
New York Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt (R-NY) said in a tweet, “Governor Cuomo and his administration must be investigated from top to bottom and stripped of their emergency powers. Justice must be served for the grieving families who have been ignored to protect Governor Cuomo and his Democratic allies in the Legislature.”
“This is clearly a gross obstruction of justice. Instead of apologizing or providing answers to the thousands of New York families who lost loved ones, the governor’s administration apologized to politicians behind closed doors for the ‘political inconvenience’ this scandal has caused them,” he added.
Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) also reacted on Twitter, “There it is. Cuomo aide just admitted to covering up nursing home data so federal prosecutors couldn’t find it. Time for federal investigations. Time for prosecutions. Time for JUSTICE.”
Even Democrats decided to publicly condemn Cuomo’s lying. State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-NY) tweeted, “You’re only sorry that you all got caught. Because of your decisions, thousands of people died who did not have to die. We’re not ‘offended,’ Melissa, we’re furious, with extremely good reason.”
State senator Andrew Gornardes (D-NY) called it a “betrayal of the public trust.” “There should be full accountability for what happened, and the legislature should reconsider its broad grant of emergency powers to the governor,” he said in a tweet.
The comments come after the New York Post revealed that the governor’s secretary, Melissa DeRosa, confessed during a video conference with state Democratic leaders that the administration knowingly lied about the actual number of deceased seniors in the state’s nursing homes.
State Attorney General Letitia James recently announced in a damning 76-page report that the number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19 could be 50% higher than claimed by Cuomo administration officials, who did not disclose actual numbers.
Cuomo aide’s confession
A New York Post report revealed that DeRosa, the governor’s secretary, privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers during a video conference. The statements were leaked in an audio of the meeting that lasted more than two hours.
DeRosa said that last August the Cuomo administration had rejected a legislative request for the recount because “at about the same time, then-President Donald Trump was turning the situation into a giant political football.”
The excuse for lying about the number of deceased seniors was that Trump could have used it to his advantage by “tweeting messages.”
In addition to attacking Cuomo’s fellow Democratic governors, DeRosa said, Trump “orders the Justice Department to do an investigation on us (…) and basically, we froze,” she told lawmakers on the call.
“So we apologize,” she said. “I understand the position we put you in. I know it’s not fair. It wasn’t our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans,” she concluded.