Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to cover up his response to the coronavirus outbreak in New York nursing homes, Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean said on Thursday.
“In the beginning of this, he said, ‘If you have a problem, you blame me. The buck stops at my desk.’ He has yet to take any accountability and now we know he is writing a book about his leadership in the middle of the pandemic,” Dean told “Fox & Friends.”
“I think he actually should be writing condolence cards to people,” Dean said, days after Cuomo was blasted for announcing that he has penned a book touting his leadership during the ongoing pandemic.
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Last week, Dean found out that she was taken off the list to testify at a hearing geared toward understanding why and how the pandemic took root in New York nursing homes.
She said New York State Sen. Thomas O’Mara, a Republican, had admitted to her “that they [the Senate Majority] were uncomfortable having [her] as a witness,” so they took her off the list. Speaking on the “Brian Kilmeade Show” last week, Dean said she believed Cuomo or his administration were behind the decision.
In a statement sent to Fox News last week, Rich Azzopardi, senior adviser to Gov. Cuomo, said that the legislature is “a separate branch of government and they run their hearings how they see fit.”
On Monday, New York Senate Republicans held a forum where Dean’s voice was heard.
“My family’s story is not based on politics as some might have you believe,” Dean said during her testimony on Monday. “And apparently my appearance here today makes some people uncomfortable, but I don’t think it’s me they’re uncomfortable with, it’s the cover-up and the truth that happened in New York nursing homes.”
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Dean said her father-in-law, who was in a nursing home and rehabilitation center, died the same day she and her husband found out he was sick and that they didn’t know he had contracted the novel coronavirus until they saw his death certificate.
Dean also said that her husband’s mother contracted COVID-19 in her assisted living facility. She was transported to the hospital and died in the hospital. Dean’s mother-in-law died on April 14, about two weeks after her father-in-law passed away from the novel coronavirus.
Dean joins many New Yorkers whose loved ones have died at nursing homes amid the pandemic. They have been calling for an independent investigation into whether nursing homes kept coronavirus patients separated, had enough employees, tracked workers who worked at multiple health care facilities and provided staffers with adequate protective gear.
New York state lawmakers grilled State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker earlier this month about the steep, though ultimately unknown, death toll at nursing homes in the state amid the pandemic.
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Dean said that the U.S. Navy Comfort ship was sent to Manhattan to help with COVID patients, along with the Javits Convention Center and other facilities serving as makeshift hospitals.
“Why did he not use them?” Dean asked. “We won’t get those answers until we have an independent bipartisan investigation with subpoena power.”
Fox News’ Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.