Former NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo testifies about handling of COVID-19 pandemic

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024 10:32PM
Former NY Gov. Cuomo testifies, defends pandemic response
Lauren Glassberg has more on former NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo's testimony about his handling of the pandemic.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WABC) -- The former governor of New York has long maintained he was following federal guidelines when he mandated that Covid positive patients should be moved into nursing homes in March of 2020, just days into the pandemic.

The Department of Justice and several local investigations found no wrong doing, but on Tuesday, a closed-door Republican-led hearing on Capitol Hill took place with some lawmakers blaming Andrew Cuomo for thousands of deaths.

"Today is is an opportunity to actually get the truth and the facts out, and I welcome that opportunity," he told reporters before the hearing.

He went on to accuse Republicans of weaponizing the justice system to target Democrats over the pandemic, and said he was "proud" of how New York handled the health crisis.

Cuomo then testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Chairman Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, said Cuomo's testimony is "crucial to uncover the circumstances that led to his misguided policies and for ensuring that fatal mistakes never happen again."

"It appears that politics, not medicine, was responsible for these decisions," Wenstrup said in a in a statement ahead of Tuesday's testimony. "Former Governor Cuomo owes answers to the 15,000 families who lost loved ones in New York nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic."

It was a brutal time for the city. A time Peter Arbeeny won't forget. He believes his father contracted Covid at a nursing home where he'd been rehabbing after a fall.

"The day after he died, his Covid positive test came back," Arbeeny said.

Norman Arbeeny was 89, a former Korean war veteran and a beloved Cobble Hill resident.

Peter blames the former governor, who he voted for, and hopes this hearing yields more answers.

"The reports and investigations have not been impressive because they've not tried to understand why you'd make nursing homes the first and only options for Covid patients, not the absolute last place to send them," he said.

But the governor insists he followed the federal government's guidance and that this hearing is politically motivated.

Both Cuomo and those questioning him agree that it's important to prepare for the next pandemic and learn from the tragedy of Covid.

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Some information from ABC News

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