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NY GOP Renews Call for State’s Response to COVID


Marking the fourth anniversary of the Department of Health’s directive that forced New York nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients, Republicans in the state Senate and Assembly on Monday again renewed their calls for the long-awaited independent review of the state’s response to coronavirus. Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay said Governor Kathy Hochul has made promises she has not kept.

“Four years of unanswered questions, four years of families grieving, four years of zero transparency,” said Barclay. “Gov. Kathy Hochul promised families an independent review of the state’s policies during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic; New York families are still awaiting that review. The state’s approach to the pandemic was severely mishandled, and we will continue to fight until proper action is taken. We must seek to learn from the mistakes of the past, or I fear, we will be doomed to repeat them in the future.”

Assembly and Senate Republicans have repeatedly requested legislative hearings equipped with subpoena power to seek answers and provide accountability for the families who lost loved ones due to the previous administration’s mishandling of the pandemic. The now publicly disclosed intentional omission of information by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his staff, and the damaging reports from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Letitia James support the need for further examination of the state’s COVID response by an independent entity.

“We are now four years removed from the COVID-19 pandemic, but yet we will still have not had a proper independent, unbiased review of the state’s actions taken during the pandemic. Specifically, we have no answers about how or why nursing homes were forced to take in patients who had contracted the COVID-19 virus. This resulted in the deaths of 15,000 nursing home patients, as they were among the most vulnerable populations in regard to getting and having a severe response to COVID. We must review this policy to have a clearer picture of why this decision was made, and why the total numbers of deaths were covered up for so long. It is imperative this independent review take place to help ensure something like this never happens again. To do anything less would be an insult to those who died and their families because of this tragic decision,” said Assemblyman Phil Palmesano.

“Years later, Gov. Cuomo’s deadly mistakes are still haunting New Yorkers,” said Assemblyman John Lemondes. “From shutting down small businesses to forcing students to wear masks in schools there seemed to be no end to the insanity taking place in our state. We had a governor who willfully allowed COVID-positive patients to be admitted into nursing homes while members of the Majority sat back and watched our state fall into chaos. This independent review isn’t another bureaucratic exercise, it’s about giving people peace of mind. We owe it to New Yorkers to tell the truth about what happened and hold those responsible immediately accountable.”


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