ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office now investigating what happened with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration and the unfolding nursing home scandal, political leaders from both sides are weighing in.
Also coming to light, allegations of phoned political threats from the Governor to a Queens Assemblyman over the scandal.
Congressman Tom Reed said when it comes to that phone call, this is Governor Cuomo’s M.O.’, and has heard talk like that before. Reed also said when it comes to the nursing home deaths, he feels there’s a lot more that needs to be investigated. Others, though are saying this is a bit of a distraction, and we need to focus on the lives of nursing home residents now.
Reed says what we’ve seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg. He says he will be working with the Ways and Means Committee. “…which has jurisdiction over the facilities on the federal level that oversee skilled nursing homes,” he says.
Reed says he hopes all work in a bi-partisan way to shine light on what really happened to the estimated 15,000 who died. He says he still doesn’t understand why COVID-positive patients were ordered into these facilities.
“So there’s a tremendous amount of questions here that still need to be answered,” he says.
Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim alleged that he received a call from Governor Cuomo threatening political retribution for criticizing him over the scandal. Congressman Reed says he’s been there before.
“That type of phone, that type of sum and substance of the phone conversation like that to Ron Kim does not surprise me,” says Reed.
Assemblyman Harry Bronson says when it comes to politics, you have to have thick skin… discussions like that happen.
“People can get emotional and sometimes get in arguments and things of that nature,” says Bronson.
When it comes to the current nursing home scandal, Bronson supports a comprehensive review…but he’d rather now focus on the well-being of residents and improving conditions. He has a bill ready.
“Let the investigation go forward, and respond when we have more facts and more knowledge,” says Bronson.
“We’re going to follow the facts to get to the bottom of this and hold Governor Cuomo accountable,” says Reed.
Reed did also say they are pursuing a direct federal complaint against Cuomo’s top aide over her phone call to State Lawmakers where it’s said she admitted to delaying the release of information regarding nursing home deaths.