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Start apologizing, Gov. Cuomo — and stop the lies

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Start apologizing, Gov. Cuomo — and stop the lies

Start with this, governor: Apologize.

Say sorry to the thousands of New York families that lost a loved one in a nursing home in the wake of your deadly March 25 order that forced homes to accept contagious COVID patients.

Say sorry to the 20 million people of New York state, whom you’ve been deceiving for nearly a year about the nursing-home horrors.

Say sorry to all those you’ve blamed to distract from your own guilt, from the staffers at the homes to all the federal officials you’ve claimed are actually responsible for that order and/or your coverup.

Apologize, and quit trying to duck responsibility by promoting a pack of lies.

That’s what the governor was doing again Monday, in his first press conference since The Post broke the news that his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, admitted to Democratic legislators that the gov and his people intentionally covered up the truth for months.

Gov. Cuomo is sticking to his “Blame Trump” cover story, pretending that the coverup was motivated by fear that the then-president would somehow use the truth in a politicized federal investigation.

Then again, he’s spent months trying to blame the Trumpies for the original, deadly March order to nursing homes to accept COVID-contagious patients that hospitals wanted to dump on them, without question. Never mind that other states didn’t read the federal directive as requiring anything like that.

Monday, he even added a perverse twist: State lawmakers should have known the coverup was all about Trump, because The Post reported in August that a federal probe had begun.

Set aside the fact that then-Attorney General Bill Barr’s Justice Department was not taking improper orders from the White House (Barr is a complete straight-shooter, though many Democrats convinced themselves otherwise). The bigger problem is that the coverup started months before that.

Indeed, it seems to have started as soon as The Post’s Bernadette Hogan first revealed the existence of the deadly March 25 order by asking about it at a press conference weeks later. At that April 20 presser, the gov pretended he’d never heard of the order before. (And never mind that he is tight as a bug with the state hospital lobby, which plainly requested the order if only to clear beds for more urgent COVID cases. Nor that Cuomo is a notorious micromanager unlikely to let such a deadly mandate be issued without his personal signoff.)

It’s at about this point that the state Department of Health suddenly started reporting “nursing home COVID deaths” in a way unique to New York — leaving out residents who died only after transfer to a hospital. This, even as the DOH continued to record the full truth but refused to share it.

Indeed, the Cuomoites stonewalled Freedom of Information Law requests from the Empire Center and the Associated Press for most of the next year — again, starting long before the feds showed any interest.

The state only finally started releasing that info after 1) Attorney General Tish James’ report outlined the basic fact that the nursing-home death toll was 50 percent higher than Cuomo or Health Commissioner Howard Zucker had been admitting, and 2) a judge outright ordered the DOH to comply with the Empire Center FOIL request.

Oh, and none of this explains why Zucker didn’t effectively rescind the deadly order until May — long after it had become clear that hospitals didn’t need to dump infectious patients on nursing homes unprepared for the challenge, because the hospitals weren’t actually running out of bed space.

“Blame Trump” is far from the only lie the governor persists in pitching. On Monday he returned to blaming nursing-home staff for willfully accepting the infectious patients in the first place — something the James report said there was no evidence of.

More: If the coverup were really just about Trump, why did Cuomo and Zucker spend months claiming New York’s nursing-home COVID death rate was below the national average, when they knew the real figures showed it wasn’t? Even if Trump were after them, that didn’t require them to actively deceive the public.

Many regular New Yorkers lost loved ones because of the March 25 order, and they won’t stay silent. Many legislators (some of whom also lost family) are also furious at the Team Cuomo stonewalling and lies.

Will that be enough to get the Legislature’s Democratic leadership to stop protecting Cuomo and allow serious hearings into this horror? At minimum, they should agree with Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay’s call for a special session to rescind the pandemic emergency powers that the governor has so abused.

And will President Biden’s Justice Department do the right thing and open a major independent investigation? The need for some special counsel to oversee it now seems obvious, since DeRosa has family ties to the top Justice official, while Cuomo was a close Biden ally through the 2020 campaign.

It’s up to the governor’s fellow Democrats to hold him to account. If they don’t, they’re part of the coverup too.

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Opinion

Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

Benjamin Netanyahu showed the opposite of grace as he exited from power on Sunday.

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

The Issue: The discussion of law and order at last week’s Democratic debate for mayor.

If any one of these five candidates becomes mayor, it will be the continuation of the de Blasio era (“Crime focus of Dem debate,” June 11).

Many of them are in favor of defunding the Police Department, which is why there is so much crime, and shootings are rising every day.

The people of this city had better wake up when they go to vote. Haven’t we had enough of this? When will it stop? These candidates will not put an end to all this.

Rob Johann

Queens

Thinking that a Republican candidate could not win the mayoral race in New York, I switched my party to Democrat so I could vote.

After listening to all the Democratic candidates during the debate last week, I want to immediately switch my party back to Republican and vote for Curtis Sliwa.

He is our only hope to live in a city that values law and order. He won’t cave to these left-wing zealots who will further destroy our city and our quality of life.

We need a mayor who can bring back the tourists, help our economy and ensure a better life for all of us.

We cannot let the city go into further decline with any of these Democratic candidates. Please, wake up and vote for someone who will lift all of us up.

Susan Green

Manhattan

The fact that Andrew Yang is slipping in the polls is the only good news in the mayoral race.

Eric Adams is talking about crime, while Yang thinks the biggest issues for the city are AI and climate change.

If Yang wins, people will be dreaming of “the good old days” under Mayor de Blasio, formerly thought to be the bottom of the barrel.

Andrew Delaney

Miami, Fla.

I am not impressed by any of the Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City.

What each of them is proposing will cause further crime, divisiveness and decay, raise taxes, make life more miserable for residents and visitors and drive more families out of the city.

What does it take to get through to the New York voter? How bad does it have to get before they abandon a party that is becoming more idiotic with every election cycle?

Take a look at cities and states that have been doing well under Republican leadership and consider voting Republican.

D.M. Diana

Greeley, Pa.

Even Adams is falling for it. He said the “solution” to city violent crime is to reach out to youth and improve mental-health services.

These chic answers are a guarantee that innocent New Yorkers will continue to be murdered, raped, thrown onto subway tracks and maimed.

Get the violent off the streets first. Whether they are criminal or mentally ill, sort that out afterward. Get them away from the rest of us first.

Paul O’Keefe

Union City, NJ

I generally agree with The Post’s endorsements, but I am baffled by its support of Adams for mayor.

His stance on the NYPD changes at his convenience. One day he’s anti-cop and a fierce critic of the NYPD (even though he was employed by the NYPD), and then he switches and comes across as pro-police.

Can New Yorkers elect a mayor who lacks common sense and leadership skills? His suggestion last summer to New Yorkers to settle disputes about illegal fireworks on their own and not call the police was deadly. Shatavia Walls, 33, died as a result.

Adams lacks the moral compass and common sense required to be a winning mayor. The people of New York deserve better.

Susan Berger

Brooklyn

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

Maya Wiley can’t contain her contempt for cops

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Maya Wiley can’t contain her contempt for cops

Maya Wiley again proved what a disaster she’d be as mayor last week, by refusing to commit to not disarming cops.

At the debate, WCBS’s Marcia Kramer pushed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former legal adviser on what she thought of state Attorney General Letitia James’ suggestion to mandate that law-enforcers use force only as a last resort. Wiley dodged: “Safety is job one, and I’m going to keep New Yorkers safe when I’m mayor.”

So Kramer asked if she’d take guns away from the NYPD, and Wiley dropped her bomb: “I am not prepared to make that decision in a debate.”

Huh? What decision is there to make? It’d be absurd to disarm the city’s cops at any time, let alone one when the bad guys are firing their weapons at an ever-higher rate. Yet Wiley’s refusal to commit is an announcement that she finds the idea attractive.

Not that it’s a real surprise: Wiley is a police-hater who demonized NYPD officers in a campaign ad in which she claimed cops don’t think she and other black New Yorkers “deserve to breathe.”

In reality, the NYPD’s work has saved tens of thousands of black lives in recent decades, by bringing the murder rate to historic lows — though it’s now starting to inch back up because Wiley and her fans imagine that police violence is now the greater threat. Literally: She’s vowed to slash the NYPD’s budget because “trauma” from dealing with cops is a bigger problem than crime.

In reality, most minority New Yorkers want more cops in their neighborhoods, though of course they want the police to do their jobs as politely as possible. Then too, the force itself is now majority-minority.

All of which is why Eric Adams wisely made fighting crime the signature issue of his campaign and why he leads in the polls. But a large and fractured field plus the advent of ranked-choice voting could let a loon like Wiley sneak into the Democratic nomination and likely victory in the fall — unless all sane New Yorkers make sure to leave her entirely off their ballots and choose only pro-public-safety candidates.

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