Gov. Hochul: Where Is The State’s Covid-19 Response Report?
Legislative Column by Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River)
When Gov. Hochul took office following the resignation of former Gov. Cuomo, she pledged to clean up the culture in Albany and commit her administration to transparency. As we approach a year under the Hochul administration, we see that these words have rung hollow.
For a moment, let’s leave aside her hand-picked lieutenant governor having to resign in disgrace, massive budget deals being negotiated behind closed doors in the dark of night and plenty of ethical questions on her use of taxpayer-funded air travel. In 2020, Gov. Hochul was the lieutenant governor in the Cuomo administration, an administration that decided it would send COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes beginning on March 25, 2020.
This directive handed down was a tragic one that saw thousands of New York seniors lose their lives. For 2+ years now I have joined my colleagues, including Leader Barclay, in demanding a full investigation into aspects of the Cuomo administration’s COVID-19 response, with an emphasis on the nursing home tragedy. Loved ones who were left behind have been searching for these critical answers, and in Albany it is our job to use a response report to guide future policy-making decisions to ensure something like this never happens again.
Former Gov. Cuomo continually denied sending patients who were COVID-19 positive back into nursing homes, despite documented evidence to the contrary. He then began a media campaign calling our concerns illegitimate and politically motivated. Even after Attorney General Letitia James revealed the Cuomo administration was undercounting nursing home deaths by up to 50%, he continued to deny, deny, deny. His persistent lying on this crisis led, in part, to his eventual resignation.
It is clear that the political science is once again getting in the way of the real science. Despite Gov. Hochul’s public assertions that a full and detailed report would be forthcoming, we have yet to see any progress on such a report. The thousands of victims and the family members they left behind need justice and a sense of closure. The political calendar should have no bearing on this governor’s moral responsibility to deliver the truth.
Join me in asking Gov. Hochul one simple question—where is the report?
As always, please feel free to reach out to my office at 315-493-3909 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.