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29 Apr, 2021 21:57

‘Serial sexual assaulter says what?’ De Blasio & Cuomo continue feud, gov denies NYT report he hid Covid-19 nursing home deaths

‘Serial sexual assaulter says what?’ De Blasio & Cuomo continue feud, gov denies NYT report he hid Covid-19 nursing home deaths

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has touched on his biggest scandals at a press conference, denying reports he covered up Covid-19 deaths and targeting New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio on rolling back pandemic restrictions.

Cuomo’s comments on Thursday came after a New York Times report alleging that the governor and his aides “repeatedly” overruled his Department of Health for months to obscure the statewide death toll from Covid-19, especially in nursing homes. 

The governor has denied any wrongdoing on the subject in the past, though it has long been alleged that New York nursing home deaths were not accurately reported. The deadly spike was blamed, at least partly, on an early order from Cuomo forcing nursing homes to accept Covid-positive patients.

Also on rt.com Cuomo’s aides ‘spent months hiding’ Covid-19 nursing home deaths, NYT claims based on documents & interviews

At the press conference in Buffalo, Cuomo blamed “politics” as the reason behind the accusations. He has also described as politically motivated investigations into allegedly using state resources to write his book on the pandemic, as well as sexual misconduct allegations, denying any wrongdoing. 

“This was a very amorphous and changing topic,” Cuomo said of the nursing home death count, insisting his administration simply wanted to release an “accurate” number. 

“We said to the Department of Health, make sure the number is accurate, audit the number. What then happens is President Trump not only uses political rhetoric, President Trump goes to the DOJ and starts an investigation,” he added, referring to the US Department of Justice. 

The governor claimed any controversy surrounding nursing home deaths is “all politics” and that a “political football” morphed into an investigation “which made the lawyers very careful what numbers they put out.”

Cuomo’s defense has not sat well with his critics, some of whom openly accuse him of lying.

“That is a BS excuse and a lie,” Fox News’ Janice Dean tweeted in response. Dean’s in-laws both died early in the pandemic at New York nursing homes, and she has since been one of Cuomo’s most vocal critics.

On investigations into claims of sexual misconduct and harassment, Cuomo continued to deny any wrongdoing and said he is “eager” to defend himself, but he has not been interviewed yet by investigators. 

The governor also made it clear on Thursday he does not approve of Mayor de Blasio’s recent announcement that New York City will be lifting all pandemic-era restrictions by July 1. Cuomo himself announced a rollback of restrictions for the state and said he doesn’t have a date for New York City, but said he believes they can reopen “before” de Blasio’s date.

“There is no person who will safely reopen faster than myself,” he said, adding he is using a “statewide management system” to determine how and when to end restrictions on businesses. 

On de Blasio specifically, Cuomo continued the pair’s longstanding feud.

Also on rt.com ‘We are ready’: NYC mayor says city to fully reopen on July 1

“First, the mayor of New York, I don’t know what he’s indicative of,” he said. “Ask the people of New York what they think about the mayor of New York City and I’ll second their opinion.” 

The feud is only bound to continue as de Blasio press secretary Bill Neidhardt told the New York Post in response: “Serial sexual assaulter says what?”

De Blasio called for Cuomo to resign earlier on Thursday, saying his scandals “just don’t end.”

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