Cuomo finally forced to tell whole truth about COVID-19 decisions that cost thousands of lives

“For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would take a COVID positive patient and put them in a nursing home where, you know, that’s medical malpractice in my mind, and that is a decision I can’t understand…I’m not a lawyer. It’s not necessarily about criminal liability, etc., but if we don’t actually know the truth, we can’t actually help you find closure.” – Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (D-Ca.), former Chief Medical Officer of Sacramento County May 17, 2023, hearing for the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

Last year, I appeared before Congress at a hearing in Washington, D.C., to talk about how my family and thousands of others in New York lost loved ones to COVID-19 after they contracted the disease in nursing homes. 

Tuesday, June 12, will be the most important moment we have had when it comes to our fight for answers and accountability. It will be the first time that our former disgraced governor will sit down and be questioned under oath for his deadly decisions that we believe led to their preventable deaths. That will occur when former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appears in front of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

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Many of you know how personal this story is for me. My husband lost both of his parents in separate facilities during the spring of 2020 after an executive order was issued, which stood for 46 days, admitting over 9,000 COVID-positive patients into a place where our most vulnerable reside. 

We were never warned of this decision, and there has never been a thorough investigation into why nursing homes were the first and only option to send in COVID-19 positive patients. Because if there is one thing we knew at the very beginning of the pandemic, it was that this virus would be the most dangerous for the elderly.

And despite having other options, like the Javits Center, the USNS Comfort and other makeshift provisional hospitals with thousands of empty beds, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo decided instead to unleash COVID-19 into nursing homes and put the most vulnerable lives in danger. 

There have been a few government reports and hearings over the years that have never amounted to much in the way of justice. In 2022, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul hired a consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia, to look back at the policies and decisions made in New York during the pandemic, but it didn’t have subpoenas, and the contract will expire in just a few days.  

According to a recent report, the Olsen Group has billed the state for less than half of its allotted $4.3 million. My guess is that document will never see the light of day. 

More recently, there has been a proposed bill in Albany that promises hearings and investigations into state records and (most importantly) subpoenas to compel testimony from Cuomo and his former associates.  

It would seem that the work of the subcommittee in D.C. has finally shamed some of our elected representatives in New York to look like they care about a much-needed after-action review. 

One of our biggest questions as the virus ravaged nursing homes is who came up with the March 25 directive that was in place for over six weeks, and then suddenly reversed while magically disappearing from the Health Department’s website.  

It doesn’t take a virologist to figure out that putting a highly contagious airborne virus into nursing homes would be a death trap. Interestingly, on June 3, there was a Harvard research paper released (the first of its kind) that studied the “Clinical Outcomes After Admission of Patients With COVID-19 to Skilled Nursing Facilities.”  Its conclusion stated: 

“That admission of COVID-19–positive patients into SNFs early in the pandemic was associated with preventable COVID-19 cases and mortality among residents.”  

Even Cuomo knew that allowing COVID patients into a nursing home would be a recipe for disaster. One of his most memorable quotes in the early stages of the pandemic was when he addressed the importance of protecting nursing home residents, and said the virus, if allowed into their facilities, would spread like “fire through dry grass.” 

We have our suspicions about who was behind the March 25 directive (and we’re confident it wasn’t written by doctors), but the truth won’t come out unless there is a full investigation with access to all state documents, electronic messages and most importantly subpoena power which has never happened until now.  

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And the other major point that needs to be addressed is why Cuomo and his staff went to such great lengths to cover up the death toll (by the thousands) and (still) continue to lie about it? Did it have anything to do with his $5.2-million book deal that was auctioned off to the highest bidder?  

The timeline is very curious, because after a Cuomo commissioned report was released, whitewashing his involvement in the nursing home tragedy, and drastically undercounted the deaths (which to this day has never been corrected on the DOH website), Cuomo then signed his multi-million-dollar book contract.  

And if we find out that his administration purposely hid information and lied to the public to make money, wouldn’t that be a crime? 

The governor, who was elected to serve and protect the people of New York through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, instead acted recklessly with deliberate indifference, causing thousands of avoidable nursing home deaths.  

This man needs to finally answer questions under oath. While we were all locked away and told to avoid the virus at all costs, his administration decided to unleash the lethal illness into senior care residences without warning or protection.  

I look forward to hearing Andrew Cuomo finally swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

But if he continues to lie, obstruct and blame others, then so help him God. He’s going to need support from a much higher power than the person who believed had all the control in the world during the pandemic: himself. 

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