Cuomo’s loss of life within the nursing dwelling hides one of many worst scandals in New York: Ex-Gov. George Pataki
Former Governor George Pataki dumped Governor Andrew Cuomo, calling the death of the COVID-19 nursing home a “cover-up scandal” as one of the worst things I’ve seen in the state government.
During an interview on WMCA radio AM 570, Pataki described Cuomos policies and measures for nursing homes as “inhuman”, “reprehensible”, “outrageous”, “despicable” and “beyond the pale”.
He called for a criminal investigation by the Biden Justice Department, Attorney General Letitia James, and an independent lawmaker investigation.
“This is one of the worst things I’ve seen in the New York State government, and I’ve been following this for a long time,” said Pataki of the death cover up in nursing homes.
“This is one of the worst things I’ve seen in the New York State government, and I’ve been following this for a long time.”
He also said lawmakers should restrict Cuomo’s emergency powers, which would “speed up” the adoption of COVID-19 vaccination and end Albany’s “micromanagement”.
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“You won’t worry about being fined a million dollars or losing your license for vaccinating someone in Category 2CW as opposed to Category 2AB. This is stupid micromanagement,” he said.
There is growing support among other Democrats who control the State Assembly and Senate to strip Cuomo of the powers they granted him last year to respond quickly to the deadly COVID-19 outbreak. These powers expire on April 30th.
Pataki said Team Cuomo and his health department only got clean after deaths in nursing homes after Attorney General Letitia James released a stinging report found they were misleading the public by reporting coronavirus deaths among residents of the Facility underestimated by 50 percent – all to the exclusion of the deceased after being transported to hospitals.
A state judge recently ordered Cuomo to release more complete data on nursing home deaths after ruling that his government illegally withheld the information from the Empire Center for Public Policy for months. The monitoring group filed a legal motion for the numbers.
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“We know they hid the number of deaths. It’s just despicable,” said Pataki.
Last May, Pataki criticized the Ministry of Health’s policy allowing nursing homes to admit or re-admit coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals during the height of the pandemic.
Critics have noted that the policy helped spread the killer bug in facilities for the frail elderly.
“Just a few weeks ago we were told that there were just over 8,000 deaths. Now we’re told the number is over 13,000,” Pataki said on Friday.
Pataki also described Cuomo’s decision to publish a book about his COVID-19 leadership lessons just months after the pandemic as selfish.
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“Write a book about how great your leadership has been, when you actually know you are covering up thousands of deaths … Then continue this charade, what a tremendous response it has been. It is incomprehensible,” said the former republican governor.
“To write a book about how great your leadership has been when you actually know you are covering up thousands of deaths … it is incomprehensible.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (left) has voiced harsh criticism from a Republican predecessor, former Governor George Pataki.
Pataki, who headed the state after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, said, “I wasn’t out there two months after the 9/11 attack, waving the flag and saying what a great job I’ve done.
“It wasn’t about me. It was about everyone who answered – the firefighters, the construction workers, the first responders, the New Yorkers.”
Pataki also ripped out Cuomo’s chief assistant Melissa DeRosa ‘s comments from a private meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday about a denial of full nursing home death census due to an ongoing federal investigation.
The damn numbers are “used against us” by Trump’s Justice Department, she said. The Post first reported on DeRosa’s statement after receiving a tape of the Zoom chat.
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Pataki called her comments “a cover-up to avoid a possible criminal investigation. It certainly smells like an obstruction of justice.”
He was also slammed into DeRosa’s apology to Democrats, who complained about the nursing home’s death through the stone wall, leaving it open to criticism from Republican opponents.
“The fact that the government apologized to democratic politicians for their inconvenience but never apologized to the people or the families of the deceased – that’s inhumane,” said Pataki, who ruled from 1995 to 2006.
In a statement Friday morning, DeRosa claimed in her remarks, “I stated that when we received the DOJ investigation, we had to temporarily postpone the legislature’s request to process the federal inquiry first.”
In response to Pataki, Governor’s office referred The Post to a statement by DeRosa earlier Friday.
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“I explained that when we received the DOJ request, we had to temporarily put the legislature’s request on hold [for nursing home death data] to deal with the federal inquiry first. We informed the houses about it at the time, “said DeRosa.
“We were comprehensive and transparent in our responses to the DOJ and needed to immediately focus our resources on introducing the second wave and the vaccine. As I said when I called legislators, we weren’t able to respond to their request as quickly as anyone did would have liked.
“But we are determined to be better partners going forward as we share the same goal of keeping New Yorkers as healthy as possible during the pandemic.”