New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the government is to blame for some of the deaths related to COVID-19, even as he continues to face scrutiny for his handling of the pandemic in his home state.
The governor made the comments during an interview with MSNBC where he criticized "federal incompetence" for excess deaths related to the novel coronavirus.
Cuomo was heavily criticized himself beginning last spring for sending more than 6,300 COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes, where subsequent viral spread caused at least 20,000 staff members at such facilities to become infected. The state says more than 6,600 people died in nursing homes as a result, but estimates have run much higher while the official data has not been released, leading to anger from New York residents and other politicians.
On Monday, the top state senator in the New York Senate Investigations Committee threatened to subpoena Cuomo and the health department if they did not immediately release the data.
"It is downright insulting to the co-equal State Legislature that, six months later, DOH is continuing to stonewall us on basic questions," said Democratic state Sen. James Skoufis.
Cuomo rescinded his orders to send COVID-positive patients into nursing homes in May. His order was then removed from the NY health website while he blamed the Trump administration for the failure. In October, Cuomo said the order "never happened."
🔦 The governor also published a book last fall on his "true leadership" regarding his handling of the pandemic.