Top advisers to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “pushed state health officials to suppress life and death information about nursing home fatalities” in a “coordinated criminal conspiracy,” Democrat Assemblyman Ron Kim told “The Story” Friday.
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday that the Democrat governor’s aides influenced state health officials to remove data from a public report that showed coronavirus-related nursing-home deaths in the state had exceeded numbers previously acknowledged by the administration.
“The changes that Cuomo’s aides made to the report proves that they had the full accounting of the nursing home deaths, including the coronavirus-positive patients that died in hospitals, as early as last summer,” Kim, who chairs the Assembly’s Committee on Aging, told host Martha MacCallum.
“We need a thorough investigation, we need to pursue charges if this is all true, if they committed an obstruction of justice and suppression of data that we could have used to save people’s lives,” the lawmaker added.
Kim, whose uncle died of COVID-19 in a nursing home facility, represents part of Queens and is one of several Democrats who have criticized Cuomo’s Marcy 2020 order requiring nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive patients released from hospitals.
“When the report came out last year, we were calling it out, [saying] ‘This is not an accurate report’ … I do feel we are finally telling the truth and getting to the truth. I hope that we can continue to investigate. This is completely unacceptable and we need to move forward.”
When MacCallum asked if Cuomo was “under real pressure” to step down, Kim responded that the governor “doesn’t have the self-dignity to resign. He must be impeached. The emergency powers that we were voting on today, it’s a good step in the right direction. I wish we could have done more.”
The Assemblyman then called on his fellow legislators to “be bold.”
“It’s not about the governor. It’s not about anyone else. It’s protecting the integrity of our legislative bodies so we can be a co-equal government in protecting the people of New York. I believe — not just me, more people are calling for his resignation — if he doesn’t resign, it will turn into an impeachment process.”
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