State lawmakers react to allegations of nursing home cover-up |

State lawmakers react to allegations of nursing home cover-up

Jacquie Slater & WNYT Staff
Updated: February 12, 2021 06:11 PM
Created: February 12, 2021 04:50 PM

State lawmakers are reacting to allegations Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his top aides covered up the scope of the coronavirus death toll in nursing homes:

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins:

"Crucial information should never be withheld from entities that are empowered to pursue oversight. This was always about getting the truth and allowing information to guide our response. That is why we had multiple hearings and another hearing scheduled for this month.  And why we requested this information in the first place. Politics should not be part of this tragic pandemic and our responses to it must be led by policy, not politics. As always, we will be discussing next steps as a conference."

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik released this statement on Thursday:

"Governor Cuomo, the Secretary to the Governor, and his senior team must be prosecuted immediately - both by the Attorney General of New York State and the U.S. Department of Justice. This bombshell admission of a coverup and the remarks by the Secretary to the Governor indicating intent to obstruct any federal investigation is a stunning and criminal abuse of power. I have said from the beginning that this is more than a nursing home scandal, this is a massive corruption and coverup scandal at the highest level of New York State Government implicating the Governor, the Secretary to the Governor, the New York State Health Commissioner and the Governor’s staff. The families who lost loved ones, New Yorkers, and all Americans deserve accountability from the U.S. Department of Justice that will be independent and not swayed by the desperate political pressure from Governor Cuomo.

[Friday], Governor Cuomo intends to meet with President Joe Biden. It is the responsibility of the President to ensure the independence of the Department of Justice. After the self-implicating admission by Governor Cuomo and his staff, it is clear to every American that this investigation must go forward."

Democratic Assem. John McDonald:

"It’s true Melissa DeRosa was there. It’s true we had a lot of discussion about the state’s slow response, but to characterize it as a cover-up I think was not accurate by any stretch of the imagination."

Democratic Assem. Angelo Santabarbara:

"This is about truth, and it’s about justice. There are people, there are families out there still waiting to know what happened. They deserve answers. This governor is not allowing those answers to come forth."

Republican State Senator Jim Tedisco:

"This is from the horse’s mouth. This is a top lieutenant. This is Melissa DeRosa, top commander and ally of the governor. She said it. If she did indeed said it, the governor has obstructed justice and held back significant and important information from the public and from the Legislature, and the federal government has to investigate, the state has to investigate with subpoena power. But if that is indeed true, the governor has got to resign or he's got to be impeached."

Republican Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt:

"We need a full investigation. It is the only way we are going to get to the truth…We have called for an investigation now for weeks and each time we have, some new information has come out that would warrant now, I think, a criminal investigation from top to bottom."

Republican Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay:

"The Legislature can issue subpoenas. They can force members of this administration to testify under oath. And I think it makes sense to do that too, because that could be a much more public venue and would give us answers."

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