Former NY Gov. Cuomo Calls Congressional Investigation Into His Handling of Nursing Home Admissions Politically Motivated

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo testified Tuesday before a Congressional subcommittee about the state’s handling of nursing home patients during the pandemic, including a controversial directive that prevented residents from being denied admission based solely on their Covid diagnosis.

The interview also follows a 2022 audit by the state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, alleging his administration under-counted deaths in nursing homes.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, in a closed-door meeting, questioned Cuomo about the state’s nursing home guidance in the early days of the pandemic, according to reports from multiple outlets, including CBS News.

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Under Cuomo’s watch, New York, along with other states, mandated that nursing homes must admit patients who tested positive for Covid.

In his prepared statement released ahead of the meeting, Cuomo said the state followed directives issued by the federal government. Democratic states were investigated while more Republican states like Kentucky, Arizona, Utah and Indiana were not, despite being issued the same guidance, he said. It was a move designed to “distract from their own culpability and muddy the waters,” Cuomo said of the investigations.

“The Department of Justice – three times – the Manhattan District Attorney, the New York Attorney General, and the New York State Assembly all investigated and not a single one validated the Republican administration’s accusation that New York’s nursing home admissions guidance was the cause of Covid being introduced into nursing homes,” Cuomo said in his opening statement.

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Cuomo pointed to the staff members and visitors who “unknowingly walked the virus into the front door of the facility” many months before the state knew Covid was here, and before mandatory staff testing was available and in place.

The House subcommittee interview follows a rising tide of civil lawsuits related to deaths from Covid-19 being filed in New York against top state officials as well as nursing homes, as families seek legal recourse.

Cuomo was subpoenaed in March and then agreed to do the interview in April. The House subcommittee interviewed other members of his administration, including former state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

While the Cuomo administration was accused of underreporting Covid deaths, the state later acknowledged at least 15,000 long-term care residents died during the pandemic.

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