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Feds’ probe of Cuomo’s nursing-home scandal needs to be interference-free

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Feds’ probe of Cuomo’s nursing-home scandal needs to be interference-free

Gov. Cuomo is trying to rage his way through the horrific nursing-home scandal, vowing to “take on the lies and the unscrupulous actors” even as he repeats his own lies blaming the feds for his fateful March 25 mandate that homes accept COVID-contagious patients. Will the feds let him get away with it?

New Yorkers who lost family members in nursing homes were cheered by news of a federal probe into the matter. But the Biden Justice Department might buy his effort to blame the Trump administration, even though it’s transparently false.

The probe, by the FBI and Brooklyn US attorney’s office, is reviewing Team Cuomo’s actions in the COVID deaths of 13,000-plus home residents and the ensuing long coverup of the true fatality count. A new Empire Center analysis, using data the state finally handed over under court order, suggests the March 25 order did, in fact, fuel hundreds of fatalities.

In a rare moment of candor, the gov’s top aide Melissa DeRosa admitted Cuomo’s folks concealed the true numbers for fear they might be “used against us” in a federal probe. Prosecutors need to determine, among other things, if withholding that data amounted to obstruction of justice.

The danger, of course, is potential White House interference. Cuomo, after all, has been a staunch supporter of President Biden, and the prez and his Justice Department may look to protect the governor. (Audrey Strauss, the US attorney for the Southern District, is DeRosa’s mother-in-law.)

Any federal probe must be comprehensive and allowed to run its course independently. “We opened a file” won’t do.

Nor should this end with a narrow, criminal probe. If Cuomo, for example, ordered patients be sent to nursing homes to suck up to the hospital industry, which donates heavily to his campaigns, there may be insufficient grounds for a criminal conviction, but it’s no way to make policy.

No, getting all the answers won’t bring back loved ones. But they need closure. As do all New Yorkers.

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — March 8, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — March 8, 2021

The Issue: Calls for Gov. Cuomo to step down in the wake of nursing-home deaths and harassment claims.

Two of the defining characteristics of today’s liberals is their fawning self-adulation and undeniable hypocrisy (“Cuomo’s Corrupt Lies,” Editorial, March 6).

Gov. Cuomo was lauded a year ago for his leadership in the early stages of COVID. Only now it turns out that he flat-out lied about the number of COVID-related deaths in nursing homes.

On top of that, he has been accused by several women, including former staffers, of sexual misconduct. Except for a few state lawmakers, the left is silent — notably Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whose failed presidential run was based on women’s rights.

Cuomo, who demanded that Judge Brett Kavanaugh take a lie-detector test, refuses to do so himself. The sham is laid bare for all to see.

John Bliss

Newburgh

When is this all going to finally end with Cuomo?

First it was the nursing-home deaths that his staff did not report. Then it was him allegedly putting his hands on younger women and making sexual advances, including propositioning one of his 25-year-old aides.

This governor is out of line and should not be sitting in Albany. Either he resigns or should be impeached.

Cuomo, you’re a big disappointment to New York. It’s time for you to be replaced.

Rob Johann

Queens

I can only feel continued anger and dismay regarding our illustrious governor.

This man knew full well that his former aide Charlotte Bennett had experienced sexual trauma in her young life, and yet he continued on with sexual advances and innuendos. How low can a person go? He, a father of daughters, should all the more be ashamed of himself.

I agree with using the appropriate process, however I believe what Bennett has said, and I applaud her for her strength.

Judy Anastasio

Staten Island

The polls show Cuomo disintegrating daily.

Now that everyone knows he’s a pervert, the Emperor of New York needs to held responsible for covering up thousands of deaths from his deadly mandate.

This ruthless, pompous dog of a leader needs to be indicted and impeached. Cuomo lies as the walls are closing in on him hard and fast. Good riddance.

Vincent Conti

Staten Island

The hits just keep on coming when comes to Cuomo.

It’s bad enough that information about the sexual harassment allegations is coming to light, and it’s even worse than we first thought.

There’s also the nursing-home scandal involving the deaths of elderly people in the thousands.

Cumo’s top aides hid the extent of this fact. Of course they are guilty, but they didn’t do this by themselves.

If the attorney general has all involved parties give statements under oath, I am quite sure no one would want to take the fall for Cuomo and commit perjury as well.

Many families rightfully want a full explanation for why this was allowed to happen in the first place.

Cuomo could also be looking at a class-action lawsuit as more of the sad truth comes out.

Joseph Comperchio

Brooklyn

This is what happens when there are no term limits for a politician. They think they can get away with it because they have so many people in their back pockets.

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer stepped down for less. Why not Cuomo? Who cares if he’s single? He still acted inappropriately.

Theresa Rohr

Hamburg, NJ

The worst of Cuomo’s crimes is not his abuse of women, which is bad enough.It’s the thousands of nursing-home deaths he’s responsible for.

Before that, it was making New York the highest taxed state in America, causing residents to flee to friendlier climates. He has been a colossal failure during his tenure as governor.

He should open the city, open the schools, open the restaurants, then go away.

And note to liberals: Start voting with your head, not your bleeding heart.

JR Cummings

Manhattan

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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Opinion

Biden rejects common-sense center on everything from schools to border

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Biden rejects common-sense center on everything from schools to border

It’s truly astonishing how much President Biden in his first weeks has opted to side with his party’s left wing and its special interests — and against even moderate Americans’ desires.

It’s most obvious in his Mexican-border madness: President Donald Trump worked out perfectly reasonable, humane policies that stemmed the record-breaking, Obama-era surges of migrants at the border. Yet Biden has needlessly moved to kill Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” deal and other agreements with Central American nations that were clearly working. Instead, he set up a temporary freeze on deportations and is talking up plans to offer a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.

All of which has encouraged Central American migrants to rush for the US border: Already, the number of children who cross over this year is on pace to break the all-time record by 45 percent. And he’s had to resort to the notorious “cages” to detain kids who crossed without their families, and it’s only going to get worse as summer hits.

Meanwhile, his end to deportations is also prompting a return to “catch and release” — posing a public-health hazard: More than 100 illegal border-crossers released last week had tested positive for the coronavirus, yet still got sprung. And that’s only one of the ways this policy slams border towns.

None of this is common sense: 55 percent of Americans disapprove of Biden’s curb on deportations, and only far-lefties are happy to see the border surge resume.

And even as he embraces open borders, he’s passively letting schools stay closed. Abandoning his pledges to get most open in his first 100 days, he’s now pretending that it can’t be done without vast new federal spending contained in his “relief” bill — even though the nation’s schools have billions left from last year’s relief measures, and his proposed outlays are mainly for years in the future.

The science clearly shows that reopening poses no real health risk to students or adult staff, but the president just refuses to say a word of criticism of the teachers unions (and the politicians they control), which are without question the real barrier to reopening. That’s why US parochial and private schools, and public schools in areas of low union power, opened up weeks ago.

He’s also gone extreme-green on energy policy. Though most Americans support moderate efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, that doesn’t cover his multi-trillion-dollar plans to decarbonize the entire country. With one action alone, killing the Keystone XL pipeline, he killed thousands of good US jobs and slapped America’s good friend, Canada — while actually harming the environment, since the Canadians will simply ship their oil by rail and truck (meaning more pollution and greater risk of spills) to consumers who will still burn it, probably in dirtier plants than the ones here.

Then there’s his culture-war nonsense, such as his order mandating that biological males be allowed to compete in sports with girls — another policy a majority of Americans disapprove of, according to a Harvard University and Harris Insights and Analytics poll.

He’s so reluctant to defy the hard left that he played along with the nutty drive to cancel Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, dropping all mention of the beloved author in his Read Across America Day proclamation. Never mind that the day comes on March 2 because that’s Seuss’ birthday, nor that then-President Barack Obama and his wife as recently as 2015 highlighted Seuss’ work to interns and kids. “Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss,” Obama said. Heck, now-Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted Seuss a happy birthday wish in 2017.

But the ravenous left wants Seuss’ scalp, and Biden obliged in canceling an author who’s showed countless millions that reading is fun.

Whether he fears the power of the left, or has no real idea how extreme his administration is proving, the president is rejecting the sensible center across the board. He’s not only being foolish, he’s doing the exact opposite of his inaugural vow to unify the nation.

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Opinion

Take away de Blasio’s emergency COVID powers, too

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Take away de Blasio's emergency COVID powers, too

Hand it to city Comptroller Scott Stringer for catching out Mayor de Blasio in a bit of rank hypocrisy, by demanding he live up to his own stated principles on the need to end pandemic-emergency powers.

De Blasio this month joined the chorus calling for the end of Gov. Cuomo’s special COVID executive power. (And indeed the Legislature on Friday moved to cut it back.)

But when Stringer this week called for the mayor to yield up his own extraordinary pandemic powers, de Blasio declined. A mayoral spokesman said Stringer, a candidate to succeed de Blasio, was letting “mayoral ambitions” interfere with pandemic response.

Interfere how?

Ambitious Stringer may be, but he’s simply looking to do his day job here: The City Charter gives the comptroller the power to review most proposed city contracts, approving and registering them as appropriate. But de Blasio one year ago seized emergency authority to skip that step so he could rapidly buy protective gear, set up a contact-tracing system and so on.

That was reasonable at the time — but the mayor hasn’t let go, even though no dire needs remain. This was Stringer’s third attempt to get back to normal; he flagged de Blasio’s repeated “overextending, overpaying and over-purchasing” last August and again in October.

Stringer rightly says the mayor is using the pandemic as “a shield to circumvent the independent oversight enshrined in longstanding statutes and rules” — and wasting millions along the way.

In the past year, the mayor spent $5.2 billion on 1,238 pandemic contracts, many with questionable sources and some that went bad, such as a $91 million deal with a de Blasio donor who never delivered the promised N95 masks or ventilators.

Mind you, this mayor has a long track record of doing favors that help his donors but harm the city, such as the notorious Rivington Street flip. Absent last spring’s extreme circumstances, he has no excuse for dodging Stringer’s oversight.

Let him get through his final nine months in office with as few powers to sell out the public interest as possible.

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