By Emily Drooby
The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn are investigating how New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration handled data on the state’s COVID nursing home deaths.
Now, Democratic leaders from the State Senate are moving to strip Cuomo of his pandemic emergency powers.
Many are angered by the state withholding death toll numbers.
“Him and his administration can be competent, but in this regard is what they’ve been doing is stonewalling us on data for months,” NY State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chairman for the Committee on Health, said of Cuomo Feb. 16.
State Assemblyman Ron Kim of Queens claims the governor threatened him and demanded he immediately put out a statement of support.
This comes after a leaked conference call, where a top Cuomo aide admitted to withholding that data out of fear it would be used against them by federal prosecutors in the Trump administration.
For months, Kim has condemned Cuomo’s handling of the nursing home situation.
“He asked me to lie to cover up for his staff,” Assemblyman Kim added. “He’s biting his tongue, but he will go out tomorrow and destroy my political career.”
An advisor to the governor claims Kim is lying about the conversation.
However, on Feb. 18, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio backed Kim.
“I believe Ron Kim,” he said. “First of all you can just see that what he’s saying it’s from the heart, and it was a very painful experience for him.”
Earlier this week, Cuomo took responsibility for not providing that information sooner.
“Most of all the void we created allowed disinformation,” he said.
Still, pressure is mounting against Cuomo. Senator Ted Cruz, along with other Republican lawmakers, is now urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to open an investigation.