More than a dozen Democrat state senators in New York issued a statement on Friday calling for Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo’s pandemic emergency powers to be stripped following a bombshell story that broke last night that featured allegations that his administration admitted to covering up the true extent of deaths that occurred in the state’s nursing homes.
“Today, February 12, 2021 , New York State Senators Alessandra Biaggi, Jabari Brisport, Samra Brouk, Jeremy Cooney, Andrew Gounardes, Robert Jackson, John C. Liu, John Mannion, Rachel May, Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Gustavo Rivera, Julia Salazar, James Sanders, and James Skoufis issued a joint statement calling for a repeal of the Governor’s authority to issue unilateral directives,” the statement said. “On March 3rd, 2020, legislation was passed to significantly expand the Governor’s executive powers under an emergency declaration, including giving him the ability to issue directives, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Without exception, the New York State Constitution calls for the Legislature to govern as a co-equal branch of government,” the senators 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. While the executive’s authority to issue directives is due to expire on April 30, we urge the Senate to advance and adopt a repeal as expeditiously as possible.”
NEW: 14 Democratic senators issue a joint statement calling for the removal of Cuomo’s emergency powers. pic.twitter.com/mYwFjMeuDB
— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) February 12, 2021
The story comes after the New York Post reported last night:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19 — telling them “we froze” out of fear that the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors, The Post has learned.
The stunning admission of a coverup was made by secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting.
According to a partial recording obtained by The New York Times, DeRosa told lawmakers, “We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, and what we start saying, was going to be used against us and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.”
The New York Times added that the revelations have left Cuomo “scrambling to contain the political fallout, as lawmakers of both parties call for censure, including stripping the governor of his emergency powers during the pandemic, federal and state investigations and resignations of Ms. DeRosa and other top officials.”
WOW they apologized to their fellow Democrats — not for the outrageous cover-up or attacks on people like @JaniceDean — but for the *political* discomfort it caused the party. pic.twitter.com/yYYfqmiymt
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 12, 2021