New York Rep. Elise Stefanik (R) is calling for a federal investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite already writing a leadership book that positively recasts his COVID-19 response, Cuomo is becoming the target of bipartisan backlash as new details surface over his pandemic response, particularly the nursing home scandal.
What is the background?
Last week, two explosive stories were published revealing new details about Cuomo's COVID response.
First, the Associated Press reported that more than 9,000 patients recovering from COVID-19 were sent to nursing homes in New York state under an executive order Cuomo issued that essentially prohibited nursing homes from turning away COVID-positive New Yorkers.
Shockingly, the number "is more than 40% higher than what the state health department previously released," the AP reported.
Then, a top Cuomo aide admitted that Cuomo's administration covered up data on New York nursing homes after then-President Donald Trump began applying pressure on Cuomo as a staggering number of New York nursing home residents died of COVID.
All the while, Cuomo blamed Trump and Republicans.
What did Stefanik say?
The Republican lawmaker said Monday on Fox News that "the dam is breaking" against Cuomo and urged an immediate Department of Justice investigation into Cuomo's pandemic response.
[Cuomo] is the worst governor in America in terms of how he has handled the COVID crisis. And last week was an absolute bombshell, you have both Democrats and Republicans calling for an independent investigation. I want to see subpoenas both at the state level, the State Senate and state assembly should issue subpoenas immediately. And I want the Department of Justice to launch an independent investigation.
We know from the partial transcript that was released by the secretary to the governor there was that there was obstruction of justice. And this is not about politics. This is about people's lives. And what was so shameful about the transcript that was released was the secretary to the governor didn't apologize for the number of deaths, didn't apologize for the policy, but apologize for the political fallout that faced Democrats.
Not only did Stefanik say that Cuomo should be held accountable at the federal level, but she alleged "pay-to-play issues" had occurred.
"These tens of thousands of families deserve transparency and accountability, and frankly, at this point, with an obstruction of justice that needs to be prosecuted at the federal level," she said. "I also think there are serious pay-to-play issues that are going on here as well, because of some of the immunity shields that were forced into the legislation by the governor's team."
"Now the dam is breaking ... you're seeing overwhelming bipartisan outcry," Stefanik went on to say. "Everyone knows Gov. Cuomo is a bully, that they bully people within their own party. But this is more important. We're talking about lives that were lost here."
Elise Stefanik joins Martha MacCallum to discuss Cuomo's massive criminal coverup. 2.15.21 www.youtube.com
After last week's revelations, Democrats and Republicans are both calling for Cuomo to be stripped of his emergency powers related to the pandemic, and some are even demanding his resignation.
Cuomo, however, is still refusing to take responsibility for the crisis that happened under his watch.
In fact, Cuomo on Monday shifted blame for the nursing home crisis from Trump and Republicans to nursing home staff, accusing anyone who disagrees with him of spreading "conspiracy theories."