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Press Release Published: May 19, 2023

Wenstrup Demands Accountability for COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths, Requests Transcribed Interview with Former Governor Andrew Cuomo

WASHINGTON — Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) is demanding accountability from former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro regarding the decision, or the decision of their predecessor, to mandate nursing homes and long-term care facilities admit contagious and untested COVID-19 patients. Chairman Wenstrup is calling on the four lawmakers to provide documents and information related to pandemic-era, nursing home policy decisions in their respective states and requests former Governor Cuomo appear for a transcribed interview. Earlier this week, the Select Subcommittee held a hearing on nursing home mortality and morbidity during the COVID-19 pandemic to examine the consequences of these harmful policies and investigate the failed leadership of state officials.

“Since June 15, 2020, Select Subcommittee Republicans have sent you, in your capacity as Governor of New York, or your former Administration five letters. To date, you have failed to respond. Your testimony is important to uncover the circumstances and policies which led to the death of more than 15,000 New York nursing home residents during your tenure. The victims’ families deserve to know the truth,” wrote Chairman Wenstrup in his letter to former Governor Cuomo. “Therefore, we request you testify via an in-person transcribed interview. Accordingly, Select Subcommittee staff will contact you to schedule the interview reserving the right to conduct follow-up interviews if necessary to further our investigation.”

Elderly Americans faced the highest risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.  Former Governor Cuomo and his counterparts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania blatantly disregarded CDC and CMS guidance, covered-up the true nursing home mortality rate, and shifted political blame in a pathetic attempt to avoid the consequences of their mandates. The Select Subcommittee is committed to holding these officials accountable and to uncovering the truth for the victims and their families.

“The Select Committee’s goal is to ensure accountability and transparency, inform future public health decisions, and provide some semblance of closure to the thousands of families that lost loved ones because of COVID-19 in nursing homes and other long term care facilities,” wrote Chairman Wenstrup in his letters to Governor Shapiro and Murphy.

Read the letters to former Governor Cuomo and Governors Hochul, Murphy, and Shapiro below: