Democrat Assemblyman Ron Kim told reporters this week that Governor Andrew Cuomo threatened to “destroy him” and ruin his career if the lawmaker refused to “cover-up” the administration’s nursing home scandal.
“Gov. Cuomo called me directly on Thursday to threaten my career if I did not cover up for Melissa [DeRosa] and what she said. He tried to pressure me to issue a statement, and it was a very traumatizing experience,” Kim said. Cuomo then told the assemblyman that “we’re in this business together and we don’t cross certain lines and he said I hadn’t seen his wrath and that he can destroy me,” according to Kim.
Around the same time that Azzopardi's statement was sent to CNN today, Cuomo began a previously scheduled press conference call on the coronavirus, and discussed his office's "long and hostile relationship" with Kim. https://t.co/w4Y2CPPUsY
— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) February 17, 2021
“No man has ever spoken to me like that in my entire life,” Kim recalled of his conversation with Cuomo. “At some point he tried to humiliate me, asking: ‘Are you a lawyer? I didn’t think so. You’re not a lawyer.’ It almost felt like in retrospect he was trying to bait me and anger me and say something inappropriate. I’m glad I didn’t.”
Read the full report here.
COVERING FOR CUOMO: Hosts at MSNBC, CNN Totally IGNORE Cuomo Nursing Home Bombshell
Primetime anchors and guests at CNN and MSNBC completely ignored New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s escalating nursing home scandal Thursday night; despite a bombshell report he intentionally hid damaging statistics from federal authorities.
“A top Cuomo aide to told leading state Democratic lawmakers that the administration had withheld data on COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes to avoid federal scrutiny, according to a bombshell New York Post report. The revelation prompted condemnations and even talk of impeachment in Albany, the state’s capital. Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., wants the Department of Justice to open an obstruction of justice investigation. However, CNN and MSNBC didn’t feel it was newsworthy enough to crack their primetime coverage,” reports Fox News.
Transcripts show the words “nursing homes” and “Andrew Cuomo” were not mentioned even once between the hours of 8 and 11pm on both MSNBC and CNN.
“We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” a senior aide to Cuomo admitted during a teleconference with lawmakers.
“The second most powerful person in state government and top aide to Gov. Cuomo admitted on video to the premeditated and willful violation of state laws and what clearly amounts to federal obstruction of justice,” said state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy. “Andrew Cuomo has abused his power and destroyed the trust placed in the office of governor. Prosecution and impeachment discussions must begin right away.”
Read the full report at Fox News.
BIG APPLE BACKLASH: Poll Shows Majority Disapprove of Cuomo’s Handling of Nursing Home Fiasco
From Fox New:
A majority of New Yorkers disapprove of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of reporting nursing home deaths amid continuing controversy over an alleged cover-up by his administration — although overall approval of his handling of the pandemic remains high.
The Siena College poll of New York state voters found that only 39% approved of his handling of making public data related to nursing home deaths while 55% disapprove.
Cuomo has been under fire for his handling of nursing homes in the early days of the pandemic — specifically a March 25 order that required nursing homes to take in COVID patients. But the controversy exploded last week after it emerged that a top Cuomo aide told Democrats that the administration “froze” amid an investigation from the Justice Department.
“Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” aide Melissa DeRosa said in remarks first reported by the New York Post.
Those remarks came after a damning report by state Attorney General Letitia James that found the state undercounted nursing home deaths by as much as 50%.
The poll was conducted between Feb 7-11, so mostly before the Post’s story dropped on Feb. 11, but after the dropping of the report by the Attorney General’s office.
However, the new Siena poll shows that, despite the controversy over the nursing home data, Cuomo’s approval ratings on the pandemic more broadly remain solid in the Empire State. The poll found that voters approve of his handling 61-34, down only slightly from 63-32 last month. Voters also approved of Cuomo’s communication (67%) and providing accurate information (61%.)
Read the full report here.