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Cuomo's exit doesn't stop the push for answers about nursing homes

New York Governor was fired for sexual harassment accusations Andrew Cuomo his job. Many want him to answer for the scandal that shattered his reputation as a pandemic hero. It involved his handling of nursing home outbreaks.

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Cuomo's exit doesn't stop the push for answers about nursing homes

Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women months before an intense investigation revealed that. The same attorney general found that the administration overestimated the death toll in nursing home by thousands, and that this may have been due to a state order that forced these homes to accept COVID-19 patients.

Families of more than 15,000 New Yorkers who were killed in nursing home accidents say that no matter what action is taken, they demand accountability. They are asking the U.S. Justice Department and state legislators to continue investigating Cuomo's claims.

Vivian Zayas said that Cuomo was to blame for her mother's death at a West Islip nursing home.

She said, "This is not yet a victory." "A victory is when all the nursing home scandals are exposed."

New York's Assembly had been moving toward impeachment of Cuomo before the Democrat announced his resignation, and his handling of nursing homes was set to be a part of that, with more than a half-million pages of evidence gathered.

Now, lawmakers are weighing whether or not they should proceed with impeachment after Cuomo leaves office in two weeks. One member of Judiciary Committee stated that impeachment would amount "vengeance." Others have urged the committee to at least issue an report.

Ron Kim, a Queens Democrat, said that if he had committed a crime, he should not resign. These investigations will not end. "Justice for women is the first step. It takes a long journey to get justice for families that have lost loved ones.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will succeed Cuomo as governor. She has promised that her administration will be "fully open" in releasing data about nursing home deaths.

Federal investigations could also yield answers. The Trump Justice Department began requesting nursing home records from New York a year ago and widened its inquiry last summer after a report by The Associated Press found the state's official toll of COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities was probably a significant undercount.

The Justice Department's narrow inquiry into civil rights violations in government-run nursing homes did not lead to a full investigation. Three people familiar with the matter said that federal prosecutors are still conducting larger investigations. They were not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

One of the people stated that the focus of the investigation is on whether or not the state deliberately manipulated data regarding nursing home deaths. Also, it examines whether Cuomo and his associates provided false or incomplete information to the Justice Department, which could be considered a federal crime.

The Cuomo administration refused to cooperate with prosecutors at the beginning of the probe and did not produce any documents or other requested data for several months, according to people.

Wednesday's request for comment from the Justice Department regarding the current status of the investigation was not answered by a spokesperson.

Kim and another lawmaker were interviewed as part of the probe. Cuomo was furious that Kim brought attention to the crisis at nursing homes. State Sen. Gustavo Rivera said he endured three hours of questioning in May.

Rivera was on Tuesday flying to a conference as Cuomo spoke. He was unable to contain his joy as he watched Cuomo's resignation unfold on a TV seatback. Bronx Democrat and Chair of Senate's Health Committee, Rivera said Cuomo made mistakes to "make himself look good".

Cuomo looked good as the virus infected New York City in the early days. He gained a national audience for his daily briefings, in which he cheerleaded, lectured and urged his constituents to remain "New York tough."

Many saw him as a counterweight for the ineffective COVID-19 response from President Donald Trump's White House. Cuomo wrote a book on leadership during a crisis.

Even though some apparent mistakes by the governor were becoming more prominent, that resolute image prevailed.

The administration issued a directive prohibiting nursing homes from refusing patients with COVID-19 at their facilities early in the pandemic. Advocates blamed the directive for spreading the disease and contributing to death, but it was eventually reversed.

After the administration refused to release data and answer questions about the policy for nine months, AP obtained records this year showing more than 9,000 recovering coronavirus patients in New York state were released from hospitals into nursing homes under the order, more than 40% higher than what the state health department previously disclosed.

New York Attorney General Letitia James' report in January noted that while Cuomo's directive was in line with federal guidance, it "may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities."

Cuomo's administration has maintained that COVID-19 patients were infected by COVID-19 nurses, and not their employees. It is incumbent on nursing homes to refuse COVID-19 patient requests if they are not equipped to safely care for them.

Also, the administration did not count nursing home deaths in a manner that was consistent with most other states: It only counted residents who died on nursing homes property and not those who died after being admitted to a hospital.

After James' report was published, data from the Cuomo administration were finally released. This confirmed what many had suspected: The official death count was off at 50%, an increase of more than 4,200 deaths.

Melissa DeRosa was a top aide to Governor Trump. She tried to explain why the government had been slow in publishing data on deaths. Melissa said officials "froze" because they were worried that the information would be "used against us" by Trump’s Justice Department.

Cuomo's office didn't immediately respond to a Thursday inquiry request.

Grace Colucci, whose father, who had been released from a nursing facility, died of COVID-19, was moved to tears by Cuomo’s resignation. She expressed concern that he would avoid any punishment for the things she believes he did to the elderly and sick.

Colucci stated, "I fear that they won’t find out why this happened." "This could all be swept under the carpet."

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