A congressional panel investigating COVID-19 met with relatives of New York nursing home residents who died during the shutdown – as the panel readies to grill ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the pandemic.

Members of the Republican-led Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic received a detailed 121-page timeline from Peter Arbeeny, whose father, Nortman, died from the infection after being released from a Brooklyn nursing home.

The scathing document on the wecarewall.com website claims Cuomo and his administration’s decisions and alleged coverups contributed to COVID-related deaths in nursing homes.

The congressional panel is ready to investigate ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s involvement during COVID-19 when relatives of New York nursing home residents died during the shutdown. AP

It’s the first time Cuomo is being officially interviewed by congressional probers – though in a transcribed interview behind closed doors.

“Keeping track of Governor Cuomo’s multitude of lies, manipulations, and misdeeds can be overwhelming,” Arbeeny, who met recently with House investigators, says in the document.

The preface to the timeline called “the now infamous [Cuomo] $5.2 million book deal was the black cloud hovering over the New York Nursing Home Scandal and the driving force of corruption, greed, and betrayal at the highest level of State government.”

The COVID-19 panel, whose members include Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn), has interviewed other families of COVID victims and state ethics officials involved in the controversy.

The panel interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director, last week.

“For nearly four years, Governor Cuomo has stonewalled our Committee as we seek to prevent the next pandemic, improve government’s preparedness and response plans and gather answers for families who lost elderly loved ones because of his order forcing nursing homes to positive accept positive patients even if they could not care for them,” Malliotakis said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director, was interviewed. Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images

The COVID-19 panel has interviewed other families of COVID victims and state ethics officials involved in the controversy. AP

“We look forward to finally getting answers, transparency and accountability for New Yorkers.”

Questions that will undoubtedly be asked according to Malliotakis and Arbeeny and other sources consulted by the panel:

The infamous March 25, 2020 edict directing nursing homes to accept positive COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals. Whose idea was it, who created it and why did it remain in place for 6 weeks when it was clear the virus spread through nursing homes?

Why were emergency hospitals such as the Javits Center and USS Comfort, which had thousands of emergency beds, under-utilized?

Why did Cuomo decide to write a $5 million profit-making book about his response to COVID-19 in the middle of the pandemic while thousands of New Yorkers were dying?

Did the decision to write a book impact the governor’s decisions to make him look better?

Why did you substantially undercount or mislead the public about nursing home residents who died from COVID-19?

Bill Hammond, senior fellow for health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy who issued critical reports on the Cuomo administration’s actions, also was consulted by the panel, as were state ethics officials tasked with reviewing the controversial book deal.  

Cuomo – who resigned as governor amid numerous sexual harassment and misconduct accusations – is looking forward to defending his management of the once-in-century pandemic.

“The Department of Justice has looked at this issue three times, as have the Manhattan District Attorney, the [state] Attorney General and the New York State Assembly, all determining that the actual facts and evidence did not support any claim of wrongdoing, and no MAGA  farce of a congressional hearing is going to change that,” Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said.

There are claims Cuomo and his administration’s decisions and alleged coverups contributed to COVID-related deaths in nursing homes. AP

It’s the first time Cuomo is being officially interviewed by congressional probers. AP

The Cuomo spokesman also said the administration’s March 25 directive telling nursing homes to admit or readmit COVID positive patients from hospitals did not cause Arbreeny’s father’s death.    

“We understand Mr. Arbeeny’s pain – it’s terrible to lose a loved one under any circumstances – but as court and publicly available DOH documents prove, the DOH’s March 25 guidance played no role in his father’s loss: he was admitted to Cobble Hill Health Center on March 20, 2020, released on April 8  and passed away tragically April 21– critically, Cobble Hill Health Center did not admit a single covid positive patient into their facility until three weeks after Mr. Arbeeny was discharged,” Azzopardi said.

The March 25 memo to nursing homes on admitting positive COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals was based on guidance from federal health officials, the Cuomo rep said.

He said in May 2020, New York became one of only eight states to include presumed nursing home deaths from COVID to the daily tally, dramatically increasing New York’s nursing home death numbers.

The Cuomo spokesman said the administration’s March 25 directive telling nursing homes to admit or readmit COVID positive patients from hospitals did not cause Arbreeny’s father’s death.  AP

Azzopardi said that fact “flies in the face of MAGA conspiracy theories that there was an attempt to undercount nursing home deaths.”

He also maintained the federal government’s own guidelines prohibited COVID patients from being treated on the USS Comfort ship.

“By the time they reversed themselves, New Yorkers had flattened the curve and fears of a hospital collapse were no longer at issue,” Azzopardi said.



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