New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's problems are piling up like bodies at a New York nursing home.
In late January, New York Attorney General Letitia James published a report finding the New York Department of Health underreported COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes by as much as 50 percent. Then last week, a top aide for the governor admitted that the administration withheld data regarding nursing home deaths from state lawmakers.
On Wednesday, the governor was hit with a double whammy. News broke about a federal probe looking into the governor's task force and its former policy of sending Covid-infected patients into nursing homes. Then, a number of Democratic leaders in the State Senate indicated their intention to strip the governor of his emergency powers. To top it all off, Republicans in the New York Assembly have now officially begun the process of impeaching the governor.
State Assembly Republicans started the process on Thursday of forming an impeachment commission to gather evidence surrounding the administration's policy of sending covid-infected patients into nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
The decision on whether or not the committee moves forward could come as early as next week.
New York is a deep blue state, so who knows if the governor will ultimately be held accountable. But the governor is trying his hand at damage control, which so far is only bolstering the case against him.
A Democratic lawmaker, Assemblyman Ron Kim, said Gov. Cuomo called him last week, threatening to ruin the lawmaker's career if he did not issue a statement to help "cover up" the admission that the Cuomo administration withheld data on nursing home deaths from New York lawmakers.
"Gov. Cuomo called me directly on Thursday to threaten my career if I did not cover up for Melissa [DeRosa] and what she said," Kim told CNN. "He tried to pressure me to issue a statement, and it was a very traumatizing experience." Kim said the governor proceeded to tell him, "we're in this business together and we don't cross certain lines and he said I hadn't seen his wrath and that he can destroy me."
Kim is a progressive Democrat who lost his uncle to a presumed case of Covid at a New York nursing home last year.
A study by the nonprofit Empire Center for Public Policy, as reported by the New York Post, found the administration's nursing home directive likely lead to "several hundred and possibly more than 1,000" deaths between late March and early May. The analysis suggests that more than one in six of the 5,780 deaths in New York nursing homes was "associated with" the mandate.