NY Democrats stalling probe of Cuomo nursing home COVID deaths, sponsors say

Bipartisan laws to analyze the influence of ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pandemic insurance policies on the nursing-home loss of life toll from COVID-19 is being bottled up in committee so main lawmakers gained’t be implicated within the scandal, sponsors of the measures informed The Submit on Monday.

“There’s no query in my thoughts that they need to maintain this up,” stated state Sen. Jim Tedisco (R-Schenectady).

“I believe it touches on them. And it touches on what they’ve performed to this point.”

Tedisco famous that the Democrats who management each chambers of the Legislature “by no means used one subpoena at a listening to” and allowed former Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker to “dance round all day” when he was grilled in regards to the state’s cover-up of the nursing house deaths.

Tedisco additionally instructed that delaying his invoice was a bid to cowl up for Cuomo, who resigned beneath risk of impeachment final 12 months over allegations of sexual harassment.

“They wished to do away with him as a result of he was a legal responsibility however I’m unsure additionally they need to let everyone know the extent of the issues that he was concerned with that induced this lack of life — the lies, the distortions,” he stated.

State Sen. Jim Tedisco said the bill is being held up because it "touches" top state lawmakers.
State Sen. Jim Tedisco stated the invoice is being held up as a result of it “touches on” high state lawmakers.
Hans Pennink

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens), who’s sponsoring a companion invoice, stated high-ranking Democrats have been “simply developing with excuse after excuse.”

“At totally different instances, they’re giving me excuses about ‘Oh, there’s federal investigations, we are able to’t open this up till the federal investigation is full.’”

However Kim, whose uncle died in a nursing house of suspected COVID-19, stated he remained hopeful the measures would win approval earlier than the scheduled June 2 finish of the legislative session.

“This isn’t an enormous ask. We’re simply asking to return and examine,” he stated.

The plan would create a five-member fee with subpoena energy and a wide-ranging mandate to probe issues that embrace “any improve in loss of life charges of nursing house residents attributable to COVID-19.”

Assemblyman Ron Kim accused high-ranking Democrats of "coming up with excuse after excuse" to stall the bill.
Assemblyman Ron Kim accused high-ranking Democrats of “developing with excuse after excuse” to stall the invoice.
Hans Pennink

The blue-ribbon panel of specialists “in well being care and/or well being coverage” would additionally need to report inside one 12 months of its first assembly.

Fox Information senior meteorologist Janice Dean, whose in-laws each died of COVID-19 in nursing properties, stated, “When a hurricane or a blizzard hits New York, there may be at all times an after-action evaluation carried out to try to be taught from what occurred.”

“Why aren’t we doing the identical for over 15,000 seniors that have been taken from us?” she stated.

“If lawmakers don’t take a tough have a look at what occurred and why our leaders tried so onerous to cowl it up, they are going to all have blood on their fingers.”

Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean called for an "after-action review" on the nursing home deaths from COVID-19.
Fox Information senior meteorologist Janice Dean known as for an “after-action evaluation” on the nursing house deaths from COVID-19.
Hans Pennink

Critics have accused Cuomo’s administration of fueling the nursing house loss of life toll by initially forcing amenities to just accept “medically steady” COVID-19 sufferers discharged from hospitals.

In March, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli additionally stated an audit discovered that the Division of Well being deliberately “misled the general public” by omitting at the very least 4,100 hospital deaths from its tally of nursing house fatalities.

As of April 30, the official COVID-19 loss of life toll of nursing house residents was 15,438, in line with the DOH.

A spokesman for state Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) stated that Tedisco’s invoice “moved by” the Well being Committee to the Finance Committee final week “and we proceed to debate.”

An audit from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli the Department of Health "misled the public" by omitting at least 4,100 hospital deaths.
An audit from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli the Division of Well being “misled the general public” by omitting at the very least 4,100 hospital deaths.
AP Photograph/John Minchillo, File

A consultant for Meeting Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx) didn’t return a request for remark.

However a spokesperson stated Gov. Kathy Hochul “has instituted a number of crucial insurance policies to guard nursing house residents from COVID-19, together with rising entry to boosters, bolstering staffing with medically-trained Nationwide Guard, requiring high-quality masks and testing for guests and offering entry to [personal protective equipment].”

“On the governor’s path, our administration has been exploring a pandemic response evaluation, and we are going to proceed working with the legislature and advocates on these priorities,” spokesperson Hazel Crampton-Hays added.

Of the laws, Cuomo spokesman Wealthy Azzopardi snarked, “Probably the most harmful place in America is between Jim Tedisco and a microphone. All politics, no disgrace. “

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