- In the early days of the pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was hailed by many as a hero.
- Now, the FBI and a US attorney’s office is investigating Cuomo over his handling of nursing homes.
- New York Democrats are also working to strip Cuomo of the emergency powers he received last spring.
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After being hailed as a hero in the early days of the pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now facing an investigation by federal prosecutors and an attempt by his fellow Democrat state lawmakers to strip him of his emergency powers.
Cuomo has faced increasing scrutiny from lawmakers after recent reports that his administration withheld data on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, as well as severely under counted nursing home deaths. The fallout is connected to an executive order issued by Cuomo in March 2020, when hospitals were directed to release coronavirus-positive patients back to their nursing homes.
Now, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the US attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York are investigating Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, the Times Union reported. The US attorney’s office investigation is part of a probe into the top members of Cuomo’s coronavirus task force.
The Justice Department did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.
“As we publicly said, DOJ (Department of Justice) has been looking into this for months,” Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, told the Times Union. “We have been cooperating with them and we will continue to.”
Lawmakers in New York from Cuomo’s own party are also pushing back against the governor. Top Democrats in the New York State Senate are trying to remove Cuomo’s emergency powers that he was granted in the early days of the pandemic, The New York Times reported.
The measure, which could come to a vote next week, emerged over a report that Cuomo lashed out at a local lawmaker for criticizing his pandemic response.
Assemblyman Ron Kim, who is one of the Democrats supporting the effort to strip Cuomo’s emergency powers, said Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him if he did not “cover up” for the governor, CNN reported. Cuomo’s adviser denied Kim’s accusation.
Cuomo has been dismissive of the criticism lobbied against him. In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, the governor accused former President Donald Trump, Fox News, and the New York Post of conspiring against him, Insider reported.
He also defended his actions on nursing homes, saying his decisions were based on federal guidance, a claim that Politifact has rated “mostly false.”