Cuomo: ‘Have to Be Blind’ to See Nursing Home Investigations as Not Political, Dismisses Idea of Independent Inquiry

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During a press conference on Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) dismissed the inquiries into the state’s nursing home policies during the coronavirus pandemic as something that “you’d have to be blind to realize it’s not political.” And dismissed the idea of having independent experts look into the matter by saying that he already did and there is no one who is trusted by all members of both parties.

Cuomo responded to a question on the investigation by state lawmakers, his past characterization of other investigations as partisan, and whether he would support an independent investigation by saying, “I wouldn’t do an investigation as to whether or not it’s political. Everybody can make that decision for themselves. I think you’d have to be blind to realize it’s not political. Just look at where it comes from and look at the sources and look at their political affiliation and look at who wrote the letter in Congress and look at what publications raise it and what media networks raise it. It’s kind of incredible. Look at the basic facts on where New York is versus other states, right? You look at where New York is as a percentage of nursing home deaths, it’s all the way at the bottom of the list of states. So, I don’t think anyone — what’s political, what’s not political, everyone can make their own decisions.”

Cuomo was then asked a follow-up on whether he would support a nonpolitical group of experts who are trusted by both parties investigating the matter.

He responded, “There is no such thing as a person who is trusted by all Democrats and Republicans. That person doesn’t exist. The Department of Health, those are just numbers. They report our numbers. You can see what you want in the numbers. But the numbers are the numbers. You can politically spin numbers, but those numbers are numbers. And, as you know, the Department of Health review was then reviewed by credible industry experts, right? So, to your point about, why don’t you get independent experts to review the numbers? We did. So, well, people don’t think they’re independent experts. I know. Because nobody’s ever going to agree on who an independent expert is.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett