WASHINGTON — Representatives Tom Reed and Chris Jacobs, along with New York's Republican Congressional delegation have joined together to call for Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYSDOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa to be subpoenaed in regards to the recent report on COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes.
The group called on the Department of Justice to issue the subpoenas for Cuomo and his staff in a letter to Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson.
This comes after New York State Attorney General Letitia James released a report last week on the state's nursing home response to COVID-19.
Among the findings during the AG's office's investigation was that the New York State Department of Health's publicly reported data may have undercounted COVID-19 related deaths. The investigation also showed many nursing homes failed to comply with critical infection control policies that put residents at an increased risk of harm.
The AG's office has been investigating nursing homes in New York State based on allegations of patient neglect and other concerns that may have jeopardized the health and safety of residents and employees.
“Thousands of New York families who lost a parent or grandparent due to New York’s disastrous nursing home policies deserve nothing less than full transparency and accountability,” said Congressman Reed in a statement. “If the Biden administration and their Department of Justice are truly committed to following the spirit of independence and impartiality, they should join with us as we work to further uncover the depths of Governor Cuomo and New York State’s incompetence. It is the only remedy to ensuring such horrific public health mistakes never happens again.”
Congressman Jacobs added, "Attorney General James’ report proved what we have suspected for months. The actions of Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Zucker, and administration officials have obscured the toll of the Governor's mandate forcing COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes with other high-risk elderly individuals. He had a duty to ‘follow the science’ and protect the most vulnerable in our population. Instead, his order can only be categorized as a failure in leadership and a betrayal of public trust. Rather than take responsibility for his actions, and work transparently to correct such a disastrous mistake, Governor Cuomo and his administration have tried to shift blame and obstruct elected officials pursuing the truth. A full and thorough federal investigation into this cover-up must be conducted, and those responsible must be held accountable."
The New York State Attorney General's office is conducting investigations at more than 20 nursing homes across the state whose reported conduct during the start of the pandemic caused concern.
You can read the full letter here.
Senior Advisor to Governor Cuomo Rich Azzopardi released the following statement Wednesday evening:
"It's no surprise this QANON Trump puppet, his treason caucus, and their friends want to talk about anything other than the approaching one month anniversary of the Capitol insurrection that they helped foment and resulted in the death of a police officer. It's a naked ploy and New Yorkers see right through it. Maybe someone should investigate what he and the rest of the Trump enablers knew about the organizing and planning of this riot."