House Panel Subpoenas Andrew Cuomo To Testify On COVID Nursing Home Policies
Governor Andrew Cuomo holds press briefing and makes announcement to combat COVID-19 Delta variant at 633 3rd Avenue.
(Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who resigned from office in 2021 amid a sexual misconduct controversy, has been subpoenaed to testify about his handling of nursing homes during the COVID pandemic, a GOP-led congressional panel revealed on Tuesday.

The House is compelling Cuomo to appear for a May 24 deposition focused on a mandate Cuomo issued in March of 2020 forcing New York nursing homes and long-term care facilities to admit or re-admit potentially contagious and untested COVID-19 patients, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic said in a statement.

“This order recklessly exposed New York’s most vulnerable population to COVID-19 with deadly consequences,” the statement said, adding that reporting indicated that more than 15,000 individuals died in New York nursing homes and long-term care facilities during Cuomo’s administration. “Evidence also suggests that former Governor Cuomo engaged in a coverup to hide the true New York nursing home mortality rate from the public and shift political blame away from his administration,” the statement continued.

Cuomo “implemented nursing home policies that had deadly consequences for New York’s most vulnerable population. Not only did the former Governor put the elderly in harm’s way, but he also attempted to cover-up his failures by hiding the true nursing home death rate. It appears that politics, not medicine, was responsible for these decisions. And that while Mr. Cuomo is adept at seeking legal advice, he is not necessarily adept at seeking medical advice,” said Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH).

The chairman added that Cuomo “owes answers to the 15,000 families who lost loved ones in New York nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. His testimony is crucial to uncover the circumstances that led to his misguided policies and for ensuring that fatal mistakes never happen again. It is well past time for Cuomo to stop dodging accountability to Congress and start answering honestly to the American people.”

Cuomo’s spokesperson Rich Azzopardi told ABC News the subpoena, which was signed by Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY), was “an obvious press charade” and insisted that multiple investigations have “found no there there.”

In early 2021, after New York Attorney General Letitia James reported that nursing home resident deaths were “undercounted” by roughly 50%, Cuomo insisted that all deaths in nursing homes and hospitals were “fully” reported, but conceded a “delay” while his office was busy responding to a multi-state inquiry by the Department of Justice. “Everyone did the best they could,” Cuomo also said.

Cuomo’s lawyer Rita Glavin wrote to Wenstrup, according to a letter published by POLITICO that was dated March 4, urging the chairman to reconsider issuing a subpoena. She said they had provided the subcommittee in a February 21 email four August dates for a transcribed interview, given obligations in other legal matters that have packed their calendars over the next several months.

“Your staff represented that they would revert back to me the following week, but we never heard back—until today. Specifically, earlier today, staff members asked me to accept electronic service of a subpoena to compel Governor Cuomo’s attendance for testimony. Given Governor Cuomo’s stated willingness to appear voluntarily for a transcribed interview, we ask that you reconsider issuing a subpoena,” Glavin wrote.

“To be clear, Governor Cuomo has been and remains cooperative,” she added. “In communications with your staff, we offered to provide written answers to ‘Questions For the Record’ to the extent the Select Subcommittee needs information from Governor Cuomo prior to his interview. That offer still stands. If the four dates we proposed in August for his interview do not work for the Select Subcommittee, we are willing to discuss alternative dates. I simply ask that we work together to accommodate his legal obligations and my other professional obligations.”

The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic said on Tuesday that it “worked in good faith to schedule a voluntary transcribed interview with former Governor Cuomo to discuss his COVID-19 nursing home policies.”

“Cuomo has repeatedly and unjustifiably delayed the Select Subcommittee’s investigation by not responding to requests for weeks, ignoring Select Subcommittee staff’s attempts to negotiate interview dates and times, and providing unreasonable availability — nine months after the interview was originally requested. Today’s subpoena has sadly become necessary to uncover the truth about New York’s pandemic-era nursing home policies and deliver the answers Americans demand and New Yorkers deserve,” the panel added.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  House Panel Subpoenas Andrew Cuomo To Testify On COVID Nursing Home Policies