White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged Friday when asked about a report that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, had withheld information regarding Covid-19 fatalities in nursing homes during the pandemic. He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes.
"Basically, we froze", DeRosa told lawmakers on that call.
Politico reported that Republican lawmakers in the state are now calling on Cuomo to resign. "While COVID-19 has tested the limits of our people and state - and, early during the pandemic, required the government to restructure decision making to render rapid, necessary public health judgments - it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the governor are no longer appropriate", the group said. Even liberal progressive network CNN, which allowed Cuomo to field softball interviews with his brother, anchor Chris Cuomo in spite of widespread criticism from media watchdogs about the obvious conflict of interests this posed, has begun to acknowledge that Cuomo's handling of the coronavirus crisis was not as praiseworthy as they originally believed.
In an emailed statement, DeRosa told Insider that during the meeting, she was explaining that when the office received an inquiry from DOJ, they had to "temporarily set aside the Legislature's request to deal with the federal request first".
DeRosa further attempted to justify the state's actions in denying the state legislature information about the nursing home policy in question in August by blaming former President Donald Trump, who she claims "turn [ed] this into a giant political football". We were comprehensive and transparent in our responses to the DOJ, and then had to immediately focus our resources on the second wave and vaccine rollout.
"What we need now is answers and when I think back to lessons from history it becomes the Watergate question which is really what did Governor Cuomo and Dr. Zucker know and when did they know it and from my perspective, and the prospective of so many others, these are criminal acts and they need to be treated this way", he said. "But we are committed to being better partners going forward as we share the same goal of keeping New Yorkers as healthy as possible during the pandemic".
A report in late January from New York's attorney general found the New York State Department of Health undercounted Covid-19 deaths among residents of nursing homes by approximately 50%.