14 Demoratic New York Senators have joined Republicans in calling for the revocation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers that were granted to him in response to COVID-19 in March.
New York lawmakers have apparently lost faith in the administration following a call with Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, in which she revealed that the administration withheld data on COVID-19 deaths, allegedly because the Cuomo administration believed it could be used against them by the Department of Justice during a four-state federal probe related to COVID-19 nursing home fatalities
In a joint statement, the 14 Senators (Sens. Alessandra Biaggi, Jabari Brisport, Samra Brouk, Jeremy Cooney, Andrew Gounardes, Robert Jackson, John Liu, John Mannion, Rachel May, Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Gustavo Rivera, Julia Salazar, James Sanders and James Skoufis) expressed that they no longer believe the governor’s emergency powers are “appropriate."
"Without exception, the New York State Constitution calls for the Legislature to govern as a co-equal branch of government. While COVID-19 has tested the limits of our people and state -- and, early during the pandemic, required the government to restructure decision making to render rapid, necessary public health judgements -- it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate," they wrote in a joint statement. "While the executive's authority to issue directives is due to expire on April 30, we urge the Senate to advance and adopt a repeal as expeditiously as possible."
On Jan. 27, the New York State Health Department reported there had been less than 9,000 COVID-19 deaths in elder care facilities. The following day, New York Attorney General Letitia James said that she found through a probe that the state underreported COVID-19 elder-care facility deaths but as much as 50 percent. James’s claims were proven correct on Wednesday when a letter from the State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker sent to Senate Democrats reported that the accurate number of deaths in these facilities is 15,049.
Governor Cuomo was awarded an International Emmy for his COVID-19 “leadership” in November.