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Cuomo rebukes Republican attacks on NY's pandemic response

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference alongside the National Guard at the Jacob Javits Center that will house a temporary hospital in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
John Minchillo
/
AP
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference alongside the National Guard at the Jacob Javits Center that will house a temporary hospital in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo testified on Capitol Hill on Tuesday where Republican lawmakers grilled him about the state’s COVID-19 response — in particular, on his handling of nursing home patients.

In a video message published before the closed-door hearing with the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, Cuomo denied any wrongdoing in the scandal that emerged over nursing homes accepting COVID-positive patients. 

“Republicans claimed nursing homes were forced to take COVID-positive people by New York’s advisory," Cuomo said. "And many, many believed it. That claim was a factual and legal impossibility.”

Cuomo has maintained that the state followed federal guidelines set by Medicare and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He called the scrutiny he received in 2021 and beyond "the most destructive example of the Republicans' politicization, deception and abuse of government during COVID."

A 2021 report by New York Attorney General Letitia James — a fellow Democrat — found the state's health department underreported pandemic-related nursing home deaths by up to 50%.

At a news conference after Cuomo's testimony, Republican lawmakers accused the ex-governor of lying, obstructing justice and orchestrating a cover-up.

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Cuomo resigned in August 2021 amid a wave of sexual harassment claims, months after becoming a national figure during the pandemic. 

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Born and raised in Connecticut, Desiree now calls Long Island home. She is WSHU’s 2019-2020 News Fellow, covering local government, the environment and public affairs on Long Island. She received her A.A. in Communications from Nassau Community College and B.A. in Journalism from Stony Brook University. Her past internships were at the Long Island Press and WSHU. In 2019, she co-wrote a four-part series about the Long Island Pine Barrens, bringing to listeners the sights and sounds of this unique ecosystem nestled in the heart of Suffolk County. There are 300 tabs open across her devices at all times.