Democratic leaders of the New York State Senate are moving to strip Gov. Andrew Cuomo of his emergency powers as the embattled executive continues to suffer fallout over his handling of the pandemic.
Democratic lawmakers have hammered Cuomo in the days since a top administration aide reportedly admitted that the governor’s team hid health data on seniors over fear that it could spark a federal investigation. Cuomo later denied that his administration hid any data.
Stripping Cuomo of his emergency powers granted during the COVID-19 outbreak would be a stunning rebuke of the governor’s handling of the pandemic by his party allies in the state legislature, according to The New York Times. A vote on the motion to strip the governor of emergency authority could come as soon as next week.
News of the Democratic-led push to curb the New York governor comes amid reports that Cuomo is under investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI.
As The Daily Wire reports:
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is under investigation by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as well as the FBI, for his administration’s decision to send recovering coronavirus patients into nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, local New York media reported Wednesday night.
According to the Albany Times-Union, the U.S. Attorney’s investigation is in its “early stages,” but is focusing on Cuomo’s controversial nursing home policy, which may have resulted in thousands of deaths, many more than the Cuomo administration originally reported.
Last week, more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers issued a statement calling to strip Cuomo of emergency powers.
“Without exception, the New York State Constitution calls for the Legislature to govern as a co-equal branch of government,” the statement said. “While COVID-19 has tested the limits of our people and state – and, early during the pandemic, required the government to restructure decision making to render rapid, necessary public health judgments – it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate.”
Scandal erupted around the governor last week following a meeting between Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and Democratic lawmakers in which DeRosa allegedly apologized for hiding data on the death toll from the coronavirus in the state’s nursing homes.
DeRosa reportedly told Democratic lawmakers that the administration hid the data to avoid federal scrutiny from the Department of Justice under former President Donald Trump.
As The Daily Wire reported:
The New York Post reports that DeRosa told state Democratic leaders during a video conference call that “‘we froze’ out of fear the true numbers would ‘be used against us.’” During the call, DeRosa reportedly explained that the Cuomo administration’s decision to rebuff a “legislative request” for the COVID-19 death count in August was in large part motivated by the thought that “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football.”
The report continues to quote DeRosa, who allegedly said, “He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes. He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”