ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed claims of a cover up in COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes admitting that his administration was not transparent with information.
“We should have done a better job providing more public information,” Cuomo said.
The governor said the void of information to lawmakers, the media and the public has led to conspiracy theories and disinformation. Monday’s admission followed another admission to Democratic lawmakers from a top aide of withholding information.
“Who at this point can believe anything that he says? I think his credibility has been ruined,” said Assemblyman Chris Tague.
The governor stopped short of admitting to any other wrongdoing. Lawmakers like Tague are probing for more answers.
“To me the governor should just come clean and say, ‘You know what, we made a mistake. We’re sorry. We’re looking to fix it and to move forward,” Tague said.
More than 15,000 New Yorkers have died in nursing homes since the beginning of the pandemic. At Monday’s press conference, the governor said New York ranks 34th in nursing home deaths in the nation.
“It was the delay and the obfuscation, I guess, that seems worse than the numbers. I mean, we knew the numbers were going to be bad,” said Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy.
Fahy said it shouldn’t have taken a lawsuit to learn what was happening at nursing homes. The lawsuit, which uncovered new information on deaths of nursing home residents, has made the situation worse.
“Transparency matters in order to have a public trust,” Fahy said.
Both Fahy and Tague agree that the governor’s emergency powers need to be revisited. Fahy believes that rebalance of power will happen within the next couple months.
“Clearly mistakes were made and we need to remedy that,” Fahy said.
For Tague, a remedy would be the governor’s resignation or impeachment, but for now he said there needs to be an investigation to see if there’s anything else that has not been disclosed.
“If we’re really true to our jobs and true to the people, we’re going to have to go find that information out for ourselves,” Tague said.