House Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.) issued the following statement in response to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that he intends to resign from office:
“Governor Cuomo’s predatory behavior has traumatized countless women, and his disastrous leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic led to the deaths of thousands of senior citizens in nursing homes. For too long, Democrats and the mainstream media fawned over Cuomo, made excuses for Cuomo, and enabled Cuomo, despite overwhelming evidence.
“Now that he is finally resigning, it is long overdue for Governor Cuomo to end the coverup and be transparent by releasing the data from his deadly mandate that nursing homes take COVID-positive patients, which led to the untimely deaths of thousands of seniors. All those families who lost loved ones deserve answers and the ability to seek closure.
“If Governor Cuomo refuses to release this data, then Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul must do the right thing and end the coverup by making this nursing home information public when she takes the oath as governor. Grieving families across the Empire State deserve answers about the real reason why so many seniors died of COVID-19 in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.”
- March 2020
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued disastrous directives that knowingly sent thousands of COVID-19 positive patients back into nursing homes across the state, spreading the virus and killing thousands of New York’s parents and grandparents.
- June 2020
- The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis held a public briefing titled “The Devastating Impact of The Coronavirus Crisis in America’s Nursing Homes.” Republicans requested Chairman Clyburn join an investigation into Governor Cuomo’s lethal directive and he declined.
- Select Subcommittee Republicans sent a letter to Governor Cuomo requesting communications and data about his lethal order that violated CDC and CMS nursing home guidance and directed COVID-19 positive patients into the nursing home. Democrats refused to join this effort. Governor Cuomo ignored the request.
- Select Subcommittee Republicans sent letters to Democrat New York Attorney General Letitia James requesting an investigation of Governor Cuomo’s lethal directive. Although AG James did not directly respond to Republicans’ request, the pressure from Select Subcommittee Republicans and others resulted in her launching an investigation.
- July 2020
- According to recent reports, Governor Cuomo’s office rewrote a critical health department report to hide the true nursing home death data from the world.
- Select Subcommittee Republicans sent a letter to Governor Cuomo dismantling his sham report, which passed the blame for the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes to the front-line health care workers. Additionally, Republicans requested communications and data about his lethal order. Governor Cuomo ignored this request.
- January 2021
- The New York State Office of the Attorney General issued a scathing report stating that nursing home deaths had been undercounted by “approximately 50 percent” and that the Governor’s mandates “[m]ay have contributed to increased risk or nursing home resident infection, and subsequent fatalities…” The death toll has now risen to approximately 15,000 souls.
- Select Subcommittee Republicans sent a letter to Governor Cuomo highlighting the bombshell report from Democrat NY AG James and again requesting communications and data about his lethal order. Governor Cuomo ignored this request.
- February 2021
- Governor Cuomo’s top aide then admitted that numbers were not accurately reported out of fear that the accurate numbers would be “used against us by federal prosecutors.”
- Oversight and Reform Committee Republicans called on Chairwoman Maloney to issue subpoenas for Governor Cuomo’s sworn testimony and for all documents and communications Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Republicans have requested repeatedly from Governor Cuomo related to his order.
- Ways and Means Committee Democrats refused a request for a bipartisan hearing on the issue.
- Ways and Means Committee Democrats rejected a proposal offered by Rep. Reed to hold governors accountable and get answers for nursing home residents and their families by requiring governors to attest that their states have been reporting accurate nursing home data and that they would continue to report accurate data moving forward.
- Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee blocked an amendment for more transparency and accountability in COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
Scalise and Select Subcommittee Republicans’ Actions to Seek Justice:
- On June 15, 2020, Select Subcommittee Republicans sent letters to the governors of five states that forced nursing homes to take in COVID-positive patients as part of their pandemic response.
- On June 25, 2020, Select Subcommittee Republicans, as well as Republican members of the New York, California, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania delegations, urged the attorneys general of those states to investigate the origins of their governors’ deadly nursing home orders and the impact those orders had on their states’ elderly populations.
- On March 12, 2021, Scalise joined Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a group of Senators in calling on the Justice Department to continue its probe into whether state officials failed to comply with federal guidelines or requirements for participation in federal programs in their response to coronavirus infections among seniors and nursing home residents.
- On July 23, 2021, Select Subcommittee Republicans called out the Department of Justice for refusing to investigate deadly mandates in New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan sending COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes and long-term care facilities, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of thousands of seniors.