WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Thursday rejected a measure to punish New York and scale back its federal funding over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s underreporting of nursing home deaths by some 50 %.
The measure was launched by GOP Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) as an modification to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package deal and was defeated in a 50-50 vote alongside get together strains on Thursday afternoon.
The measure wanted a easy majority to be handed.
If authorised, the modification would have lowered funding to states like New York the place an lawyer normal’s report revealed that the Cuomo administration misled the general public concerning the complete variety of nursing home residents.
“Requiring states to present correct knowledge is widespread sense for anybody who believes as I do, that we should always have a science-based fact-driven response to this pandemic,” Scott stated in a speech on the Senate ground.
“We should always not provide extra funding to states which have mismanaged, after which coated up their pandemic response, till they repair it. It merely is mindless,” he stated.
Scott’s modification would have additionally established a fund guaranteeing the correct reporting of COVID-19 associated deaths of residents or workers at nursing houses.
Democrats argued towards the measure — bizarrely suggesting the cover-up was former President Donald Trump’s fault.
“They by no means had a plan. They didn’t assist the states. That is an effort, an ongoing effort, to blame states, when the federal authorities dropped the ball when it got here to long run care,” stated Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.).
“New York was hit hardest by the virus as a result of Trump and his GOP enablers like Sen. Scott ignored the indicators, didn’t floor planes from Europe and deliberately downplayed COVID to the American public regardless that they knew higher. The fee to New York, each human and monetary, is the federal authorities’s legal responsibility—do your job and fund state and native governments who’re on the entrance line of this struggle.”
Cuomo spokesman Peter Ajemian responded: “New York was hit hardest by the virus as a result of Trump and his GOP enablers like Sen. Scott ignored the indicators, didn’t floor planes from Europe and deliberately downplayed COVID to the American public regardless that they knew higher. The fee to New York, each human and monetary, is the federal authorities’s legal responsibility—do your job and fund state and native governments who’re on the entrance line of this struggle.”
Calls are rising for Cuomo’s well being chief Howard Zucker to resign after a blistering report from Legal professional Common Letitia James discovered Cuomo and his well being company withheld an correct depend of the variety of nursing home residents who died from COVID-19 by some 50 % by excluding residents who died after being taken to hospitals.
The bombshell findings pushed Zucker to lastly launch figures displaying that 12,743 residents had died in nursing houses and hospitals as of Jan. 19, up from 8,711 only a day earlier.
Grieving family members blasted Cuomo’s dealing with of the disaster as “an absolute shame,” whereas a decide on dominated Wednesday that Cuomo’s Well being Division broke the legislation by refusing to present a authorities watchdog with an correct nursing home death toll.
Final week, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki stated it could be up to the Division of Justice, not President Biden, to determine if an investigation into Cuomo’s function within the scandal was wanted.