Pressure mounts on Cuomo over COVID deaths at nursing homes

Pressure mounts on Cuomo over COVID deaths at nursing homes

A joint probe conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Brooklyn U.S. attorney's office has been opened regarding potential wrong-doing taken by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's (D-NY) coronavirus task force over the spread of Covid-19 in nursing homes.

"So Gov. Cuomo, who has declined to appear on this show despite dozens of requests over the past year, including this past week, made a bad decision that may have cost lives", Tapper said. Cuomo refused to take questions from The New York Post on Wednesday.

Kim said Wednesday the governor is now trying to distract the public from growing criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike about his administration's handling and reporting of outbreaks. "We have been cooperating with them and we will continue to", said Rich Azzopardi, senior adviser to the governor. "The operable words were to the effect of, 'I am from Queens, too, and people still expect honor and integrity in politics, '" Mr. Azzopardi said. "We're putting four new vaccination sites in socially vulnerable communities outside of New York City where we've seen higher positivity rates and lower vaccination rates". The governor also accused Kim of being "unethical" for backing nail salon owners as lawmakers discussed safety and wage reforms of the industry in 2015. This meant that nursing homes would be obligated to accept patients who tested positive for COVID-19.

Cuomo's top aide, DeRosa, privately admitted the administration withheld the data over fears it would be "used against us" by federal prosecutors. They have not yet responded to requests for comment.

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Reached by phone, Christian Cooper said he had no reaction to the news that Amy Cooper's case was dismissed. Cooper was heard saying, "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life".

"There's been a long, hostile relationship with Assemblyman Kim", Cuomo said.

The letter, sent to Assembly members Tuesday, said Cuomo's administration "deliberately covered up" the extent of deaths in nursing homes and "engaged in an intentional obstruction of justice".

Cuomo has been accused by New York State Attorney General Letitia James of seriously undercounting nursing home deaths. "They have blood on their hands", Kim told CNN. "From day one, NY has prioritized equitable vaccination access with aggressive efforts targeted at reaching communities that were hit the hardest by COVID", Cuomo said.

Cuomo referred to Kim's actions as "pay to play", a phrase used to describe political behavior previous officials in his administration have been fired for: "I believe it's a continuing racket because he's still doing it". She said they were anxious they would be used against them in a federal investigation. "It nearly felt like, in retrospect, he was trying to bait me and anger me and say something inappropriate".

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