New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday joined Republican and Democratic state lawmakers calling for a “full investigation” into Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s treatment of COVID-19-positive nursing home patients and the underreporting of related deaths.
“I support our state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement.
“Thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers lost their lives in nursing homes throughout the pandemic,” she said. “Their loved ones and the public deserve answers and transparency from their elected leadership, and the secretary to the governor’s remarks warrant a full investigation.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was referring to Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to Mr. Cuomo who revealed last week during a private virtual meeting with state lawmakers that the administration purposely withheld the state’s COVID-19 nursing home death toll out of fears it could be used against them politically.
The governor later admitted that he prioritized getting the data to the federal Department of Justice instead of to the state Legislature and the public, causing an informational “void” that was then filled by “conspiracy theories.”
Mr. Cuomo doubled down on his comments Friday, shortly before Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s statement, saying during a press conference, “I was not aggressive enough in knocking down the falsities. We were busy. We were doing our job. We’re trying to save lives. No excuses.”
The U.S. attorney in Brooklyn and the FBI have begun a preliminary investigation into the Cuomo administration’s treatment of nursing homes.