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Laughs, and cries of condemnation for Cuomo's handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes

Feb 23, 2021 6:33 am
Emilie Munson reports in the Times Union that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's manipulation of COVID-19 nursing home death data was the subject of jokes and speculation the last few days from the halls of Congress to the "Saturday Night Live" stage. Pete Davidson played Cuomo in a sketch that also made fun of Ted Cruz on "SNL," and local and national legislators are commenting, and sometimes denouncing Cuomo all over. U.S. attorney general nominee Merrick Garland was asked about the controversy Feb. 22 at his confirmation hearing. "With all of these investigations, the Justice Department is open to evidence of fraud, false statements, violations of the law," Garland said. "They normally begin in the relevant U.S. attorney’s office.” Congressperson Paul Tonko, who represents Albany County, also put out a bland statement. "I support the officials in New York state and at the U.S. Department of Justice who are working to review this incident and to ensure accountability and I am confident that they are up to the task," he said. A large bloc of conservative U.S. senators had harsher words for Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin, asking him to launch a congressional investigation into the Cuomo administration's actions. "The American people deserve to know the extent to which Gov. Cuomo and his senior staff violated the civil rights of New York seniors, lied to the Department of Justice about their actions, and violated federal civil and criminal laws in the process," the senators wrote. New York's junior Democratic senator, Kirsten Gillibrand said Feb. 19 that she would support hearings in the Senate Aging Committee about conditions in nursing homes across the country. "I hope we can have hearings on the broader issue because this is not something that is isolated to New York alone," she said. Read more about this story in the Times Union.