NY Ex-Governor Cuomo Points Fingers on Covid Policy 

Woman in protective suit hold test tube with positive result infected with coronavirus COVID - 19. Photo Illustration.

Andrew Cuomo, the former Democratic governor of New York, testified before a committee in the House of Representatives this week, saying he wasn’t aware that a controversial COVID-19 policy in his state was in effect.

Multiple reports said that Cuomo testified that he wasn’t aware of the policy in question, which reportedly was edited by his office, that required nursing homes in the state to admit patients who had COVID-19. This directive ultimately led to more than 15,000 people dying in nursing homes during the height of the pandemic.

New York Republican Representative Nicole Malliotakis spoke with the Washington Examiner and said that the former governor blamed the order — which was put into effect on March 25 of 2020 — on an “unknown staffer” in the state’s Department of Health.

The testimony was held on Tuesday behind closed doors before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Cuomo received a subpoena to testify back in March.

As part of his testimony, Cuomo said he wasn’t aware of the order until one month after it went into effect, even though a member of his own staff edited a draft of the bill over a multi-day span before it was issued, according to reporting by the Times Union.

Officials with the Health Department told FBI officials as part of a probe that the former governor frequently sat in on calls with the state’s coronavirus task force.

Malliotakis accused Cuomo of being ignorant, and said his claims of that don’t pass the “smell test,” since he held daily press conferences about the pandemic beginning on March 2 and lasting through June 19 that year.

The Examiner reported that Malliotakis asked:

“Is it that the governor did not know what was going on in his own state? Everybody else knew about it: all the local legislators, all the state legislators. The nursing homes were complaining about it to our offices.”

Republican Representative Mike Lawler added to CBS News:

“Anybody who knows anything about Andrew Cuomo and knows anything about how New York State government was run under Andrew Cuomo knows that that is a flat-out lie. Nothing happened in New York without Andrew Cuomo’s signature.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James led an investigation that ultimately found as many as 9,800 people died in a nursing home as a direct result of the policy in question here. That report also found the number of deaths in nursing homes from the report issued by the Department of Health was edited by Cuomo’s office.

As Malliotakis said:

“A lot of his answers today are putting the blame on others. At the end of the day, the buck stops with you.”

At the height of the pandemic, Cuomo had gained national notoriety for his apparent leadership as New York was one of the worst-hit states in the nation, with New York City being such an international hub.

That fame faded quickly, though, once these reports came out. Then, in August of 2021, Cuomo resigned from his position as part of a sexual harassment scandal that arose.