A bombshell report this week determined that Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo acted to hide the actual number of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home patients in his state.
The revelation prompted a fiery monologue from Fox News Channel’s Jeanine Pirro, who called for legal consequences against the Cuomo administration.
“The most vulnerable in our society”
“There was criminal behavior before this came out,” said the former New York state judge during Friday’s installment of Fox & Friends, according to Fox.
Cuomo has faced fierce and bipartisan criticism for months over his administration’s policy to return convalescing COVID-19 patients back to nursing homes and other facilities, likely exacerbating the spread of the virus throughout the elderly population.
Speaking Friday, Pirro continued her opprobrium by calling the governor “a liar” and “political bully” who “made the decision to infect the most vulnerable in our society by sending in COVID-infected patients.”
She said it is “a no-brainer” to conclude that Cuomo “knew what was going on, he signed the mandate, he tried to blame everyone, including the president, for that, but he was wrong about that.”
According to subsequent updates, senior Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa acknowledged that the administration suppressed the actual numbers in its reports to the Department of Justice, though she attempted to place the blame on former President Donald Trump.
“A politically motivated effort”
“We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” DeRosa said in a phone call with state officials.
Cuomo aide Rich Azzopardi added: “We explained that the Trump administration was in the midst of a politically motivated effort to blame Democratic states for COVID deaths.”
A public statement from the Justice Department in August included an acknowledgment that New York was among the states that instituted a policy of returning infected patients to nursing homes, noting that the state’s associated death rate was significantly higher than the national average.
Pirro is hardly alone in demanding a serious probe into the situation.
According to Fox, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) proclaimed that the “families of thousands of dead New York seniors deserve accountability and justice for the true consequences” of Cuomo’s policy. State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy also weighed in, suggesting that “prosecution and impeachment discussions must begin right away.”