Hiding 15,000 Deaths is Not a "Political Position"

Sen. Daphne Jordan

February 12, 2021

The New York Post released a recording of top Gov. Cuomo staffer Melissa DeRosa meeting with Senate and Assembly Democrat leaders about the nursing home scandal that led to 15,000 COVID-related deaths. In her meeting, she confirmed what Senate Republicans have been stating for nearly a year: the Governor and his deputies deliberately covered up how many people died due to his decision to put COVID-infected patients back into nursing homes.

Afraid of a federal investigation into his disastrous nursing home policy, DeRosa said the Governor and his cronies “froze” because they feared how this tragedy “was going to be used against us.”

Then, after admitting a cover-up, DeRosa apologized. Not to the families who lost a loved one, but to Democrats, for being politically inconvenienced.

“So we do apologize,” she said. “I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans.”

The Governor just doesn’t get it.

This isn’t about a “political position.” It’s about human lives. It’s about treating vulnerable New Yorkers and their families with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Governor Cuomo has shown repeatedly that he should no longer wield unchecked, expanded emergency powers. He’s violated our trust, undermined state and federal officials and lets his staff refer to the deaths of 15,000 seniors as a “political football."

The Senate Republican Conference has called for these powers to be revoked for months. And we’ve called for a full, independent investigation into the Governor’s decision to place COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes and his cover-up. In addition, the Attorney General and federal Department of Justice should also conduct investigations.

The families of the deceased deserve the truth. Governor Cuomo must be held accountable for his cynical, political treatment of our seniors and their loved ones. We will continue fighting to deliver that truth and implore Senate Democrats to share that same commitment. 

This tragedy has gone on far too long. It must stop.

We must convene a special session and revoke the Governor’s expanded powers and commence an independent investigation immediately.