‘You Will be Destroyed’: Cuomo Trashes NY Lawmaker in Private and Public Over COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths
“You have not seen my wrath. I have been biting my tongue for months.”
It is not hyperbole when I say that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has lost his mind.
Cuomo threw out “unfounded allegations” against NY Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens), who has accused Cuomo “of obstructing justice by covering up nursing home deaths from COVID-19.”
Cuomo once again deflected blame by placing it on The New York Post.
Kim has been criticizing Cuomo for months over the nursing home deaths. Yes, even before the New York Post published Cuomo’s secretary Melissa de Rosa admitting the administration did not provide the real number of nursing home deaths.
In regards to that revelation, Kim told The New York Post that he thinks Cuomo “was trying to dodge having any incriminating evidence.”
Kim contacted The New York Post on Wednesday about a phone call he received from Cuomo after he provided the above quote:
“At first, there was a silence on the phone,” Kim said. “Then the governor says, `Mr. Kim, are you an honorable man?”
Kim — who said he was “in the middle of bathing my kids” — said Cuomo asked him to draft a statement “to say that Melissa de Rosa said there was a federal investigation and they had to deal with that first.”
During the conversation, Kim said, Cuomo warned him, “You have not seen my wrath. I have been biting my tongue for months.”
“I can tell the whole world what a bad person you are and you will be finished,” Kim recalled Cuomo saying.
“You will be destroyed.”
Kim’s wife could hear Cuomo screaming at her husband. Kim said she did not sleep that night.
Kim also said Cuomo called his house four or five more times. No one picked up the phone.
Cuomo Attacks Kim in Public. Kim Responds
Cuomo kept his word when he went after Kim during Wednesday’s press conference:
During a telephone conference call at which he declined for a second time this week to take questions from The Post, Cuomo said he and Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) have an “open and hostile relationship” that goes back to legislation enacted in 2015 to regulate nail salons.
Cuomo claimed Kim initially supported the measure, “then flipped 180 degrees” because “businesspeople in his community got upset.”
“He actually used his lobbying firm to lobby on behalf of the business owners … then raised money from those business owners and continues to do so,” Cuomo further alleged, regarding the six-year-old measure.
“I believe it’s unethical, if not illegal. And I believe it’s a continuing racket because he’s still doing it.”
Cuomo added that “the euphemism is ‘pay to play’” — the same sort of scheme for which a top Cuomo aide, Joseph Percoco, was convicted on federal corruption charges.
Kim quickly released a statement.
“As legislators we have a duty to uncover the truth behind the nursing home deaths and the governor’s explanations do not add up,” said Kim. “While he claims he was taking time to answer the Justice Department, we saw him gallivant around on a book tour and victory lap across prime time cable shows. Again, all while his top aide deliberately hid the information in fear of political and legal consequences.”
Kim added: “The governor can smear me all he wants in an effort to distract us from his fatally incompetent management. But these facts are not going away because they are the facts – unacceptable facts that hold him accountable.”
Facts matter. pic.twitter.com/HNqs6bXpAr
— Ron T. Kim (@rontkim) February 17, 2021
The New York Post
The New York Post published the comments from de Rosa, which has brought Cuomo’s wrath.
Cuomo has not taken the publication’s questions for two weeks but took time to trash the outlet:
The governor also accused The Post of pushing “the Republican point on nursing homes” regarding the state Health Department’s since-rescinded March 25 order that required the facilities to admit COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals.
“They conveniently leave out, the March 25 order was done following guidance” from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, he said, ignoring the difference between broad guidelines offered to states and a mandate from his Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to the facilities.
“If we did believe it was wrong, we would say we believed it was wrong and we made a mistake following CDC and CMS guidance,” Cuomo said. “And then I would sue the federal government.”
Cuomo further accused The Post of refusing to retract critical comments from Kim regarding DeRosa’s recorded remarks, claiming Kim told him in a private conversation in which Cuomo confronted the assemblyman, “The Post misquoted me.”
Cuomo said he suggested that Kim issue a follow-up statement on his comments to The Post, and that Kim said he would issue a follow-up statement “and he never did it.”
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