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'Treated like zoo animals': Andrew Cuomo blasted by daughter of elderly woman who died alone in N.Y. nursing home amid former gov's lockdown directives

Vivian Zayas (Image Source: GOP Oversight YouTube video screenshot), Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Image Source: Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, former Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo was blasted for imposing oppressive lockdown directives that forced an elderly woman to die alone in a New York nursing home in 2020.

Vivian Zayas, the daughter of Ana Martinez, told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic that her mother and thousands of others were confined in nursing homes between March and May 2020 due to the disgraced governor's cruel lockdown measures.

On March 25, 2020, following the governor's directive, the Department of Health in Albany issued an order requiring senior care facilities to admit patients with COVID who were discharged from the hospitals. On May 10, 2020, the policy was quietly retracted.

Zayas stated that Cuomo's administration implemented directives that caused her mother and many others to be "treated like zoo animals."

Martinez was placed in a nursing home facility after she was briefly hospitalized for a minor cyst. At the time, she was expected to fully recover.

"We never saw our beautiful mother again. She was dead shortly after. Gasping for air, alone, confused, and scared without her daughters who were her translators and caregivers," Zayas said. "My mom didn't get to meet her grandchildren or her great-grandchildren."

Zayas accused the nursing homes of keeping families "in the dark" and "never telling us that they were admitting COVID-positive patients at the insistence of Governor Cuomo."

The former governor was more interested in maintaining "his image and promoting a book in the middle of a pandemic," Zayas stated, referring to Cuomo's memoir, "American Crisis."

"Our initial inquiries to our local legislators requesting an investigation into the factors that contributed to the death of our loved ones were met with roadblocks, vitriol and partisan accusations," Zayas added. "That was extremely troubling since my mother [was] a Puerto Rican woman who along with most of our family were lifelong Democrats."

She slammed Cuomo and his Democratic colleagues for failing to take responsibility for the tyrannical directive that led to thousands of nursing home deaths.

The former governor was accused of pushing state health officials to omit the total fatalities from the public report.

Later findings revealed that Cuomo's administration had "misled the public" and underreported fatalities by more than 50%. The New York State Health Department's March 2022 report found that more than 15,000 nursing home residents died from the virus.

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