Gov. Cuomo faces bipartisan calls for accountability on nursing home death count

CNN says it reinstated a ban on Chris Cuomo covering his brother

Cuomo's top aide, Melissa DeRosa, said in a private meeting with Democratic lawmakers that they delayed answering legislators' requests for the data because they "froze" following a federal Justice Department inquiry. "I believe it's unethical, if not illegal".

The controversy was heightened last month when state Attorney General Letitia James released a damning report finding some nursing homes apparently underreported resident COVID-19 deaths to the state. Cuomo refused to take questions from The New York Post on Wednesday.

Cuomo said the state did not cover up deaths but should have moved faster to release some information sought by lawmakers, the public and the media.

But the governor's actions appear to have political effects nonetheless.

Kim told The New York Times and CNN on Wednesday that Cuomo called him on the phone February 11 to shout at him about his comments on the nursing home issue. "From day one, NY has prioritized equitable vaccination access with aggressive efforts targeted at reaching communities that were hit the hardest by COVID", Cuomo said.

"He tried to pressure me to issue a statement and it was a very traumatizing experience", Kim said said of Cuomo. "They need to be independent", he told News 12.

"There's been a long, hostile relationship with Assemblyman Kim", Cuomo said.

In a statement, Cuomo senior advisor Rich Azzopardi called Kim "unscrupulous", and said it is the Assemblyman who is "lying". "But these facts are not going away because they are the facts - unacceptable facts that hold him accountable". However, as the NY governor's star rose thanks to his daily press briefings and the mainstream media showered the Democrat with praise for his "leadership", the network allowed its prime-time anchor to hold a series of chummy interviews with his brother in the early weeks of the pandemic.

Cuomo said Monday that 98% of the nursing homes that accepted a patient from a hospital already had COVID-19 cases.

"They have always been fully reported", he insisted. He penned a letter, along with nine other Democratic lawmakers, that accused the governor and his staff of obstructing justice.

Cuomo refuted on Wednesday the March order "brought COVID" to nursing homes, confirming his administration followed recommendations from the Trump administration: "We followed the CDC and CMS, so if you want to say it was wrong, then you have to say Trump was wrong and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services".

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