Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to assert victory Monday following a controversial Justice Department resolution to not investigate a state order that compelled nursing properties to just accept coronavirus sufferers — which critics blame for killing helpless residents.
During a information convention that marked his first public appearance since reportedly being grilled over sexual harassment allegations, Cuomo seized on Friday’s revelation that the Biden administration’s DOJ wouldn’t pursue a probe into potential violations of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.
“It was an outrageous allegation,” Cuomo claimed.
“It was toxic politics. It violated the basic concept of justice in this nation. And it did a lot of harm and a lot of damage and then went on too long. I mean, this went on for like a year, until finally the Department of Justice, dismissed it.”
The extremely restricted investigation would have solely lined about 30 government-run nursing properties out of greater than 600 senior care amenities throughout the state.
And it’s unclear what influence, if any, the DOJ’s transfer had on a doubtlessly broader investigation into instances of COVID-19 amongst residents, workers and different staffers at New York’s privately run nursing properties.
An Oct. 27 letter to the state Health Department by the DOJ’s Civil Division — revealed completely by The Post — mentioned that inquiry involved the possibility that “grossly substandard care” was offered to beneficiaries of the federal Medicare and Medicare applications.
Cuomo and his administration are additionally the main target of a felony probe by the FBI and the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office into their cover-up of the total nursing home death toll from COVID-19 and the governor’s $5.1 million ebook deal for his pandemic memoir.
Tracey Alvino, whose dad died after apparently being contaminated with the coronavirus in a Long Island nursing house whereas recovering from neck surgical procedure, reacted to Cuomo’s remarks Monday by accusing him of “celebrating over the mass deaths of senior citizens.”
“Cuomo is a sociopath. He’s deranged,” Alvino mentioned.
“If placing 1000’s of COVID sufferers into nursing properties in secret will not be a civil rights violation, what’s?
Danielle Messina, whose dad died of COVID-19 in a Staten Island nursing house, mentioned the three-term Democrat “shouldn’t take a victory lap because he knowingly placed COVID positive patients in nursing homes where people were dying by the second.”
“Not only were nursing home residents’ civil rights violated, this action was a crime against humanity,” Messina mentioned.
Vivian Zayas, who co-founded the Voices for Seniors activist group after her mother died of COVID-19 following a rehabilitation keep in a Long Island nursing house, mentioned, “You can’t publish what I really want to say.”
“We’re not going to give up trying to get accountability for the loved ones we lost. Their lives mattered,” Zayas mentioned
“This is far from over.”
During his information press convention at Yankee Stadium, Cuomo didn’t deny that he was interviewed over Zoom on July 17 in reference to allegations he sexually harassed several current and former female aides and mentioned the probe ought to “continue.”
“I’m very eager to get the facts to the people of this state and I think when they hear the actual facts of what happened, and how the situation has been handled, I think they’re going to be shocked,” he mentioned.
“Shocked. Because at the end of the day, the truth wins and facts win.”
Cuomo additionally tried to defend his assaults on the credibility of the investigators hired by Attorney General Letitia James, former appearing Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim and employment discrimination lawyer Anne Clark.
“Look at who the independent investigators are,” he mentioned.
“Go to Google. Google the independent reviewers and tell me what you see.”
Cuomo didn’t elaborate however was apparently referring to the truth that Kim previously served as chief counsel to then-Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara, who investigated Cuomo over his sudden shutdown of the anti-corruption Moreland Commission in 2014.
Bharara’s workplace seized the fee’s information and used them to efficiently prosecute former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-LI).
But Bharara announced in 2016 that the feds discovered “insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime” in what he referred to as Cuomo’s “premature closing” of the fee.
When Bharara was fired by then-President Donald Trump the next yr, he additionally used the event to take a shot at Cuomo.
“By the way, now I know what the Moreland Commission must have felt like,” Bharara tweeted.
Neither James, Kim nor Clark instantly returned requests for remark.