The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic has asked four former members of disgraced New York ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration to testify on “must admit” orders issued to nursing homes at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Letters were sent out Friday to Elizabeth Garvey, a former special counselor and senior adviser to Cuomo; Gareth Rhodes, the former deputy superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services; James Malatras, the ex-governor’s former policy adviser; and Linda Lacewell, the former superintendent of the Department of Financial Services.

The letters requested that they sit for in person transcribed interviews before the Republican-led panel investigating government actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) warned the foursome that the committee “will be forced to evaluate the use of the compulsory” measures if they don’t appear for the voluntary interviews next month. 

The four former Cuomo administration officials are slated to testify before the panel in March. AP

The House committee is investigating Cuomo’s March 2020 order forcing nursing homes to admit people with COVID-19. AP

Under Cuomo, New York’s Department of Health issued an order on March 25, 2020, that forced senior care facilities to accept COVID-positive patients discharged from hospitals.

The then-governor partially rescinded that mandate during a May 10, 2020, press conference, preventing COVID-infected New Yorkers from being moved directly from hospitals to nursing homes while allowing admissions from other facilities.

In a July 2020 report, Cuomo’s administration downplayed the total number of COVID fatalities related to the policy by excluding deaths of patients that occurred outside of any facilities.

Nearly two years later, New York’s comptroller found that Cuomo had “misled the public” in undercounting such deaths by more than 50%.

Cuomo’s order potentially caused 1,000 additional nursing home deaths, according to an analysis by The Empire Center.

“New Yorkers, especially, deserve answers,” the House COVID-19 panel posted on X, including the letters sent out to the former Cuomo administration officials. 

“More than 15,000 Americans died” from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes, the committee’s tweet noted.

A spokesman for Cuomo told The Post that the House panel has “politicized and weaponized” the tragic deaths of New Yorkers. 

“It’s unfortunate that people’s pain continues to be politicized and weaponized in order to distort the truth — which is that the Department of Justice, twice, the AG, the Manhattan DA and the Assembly all critically examined this and found no there there,” Rich Azzopardi said in a statement.

He added that Cuomo’s March 2020 order has been “willfully misrepresented for years.”

“At no point did the DOH directive wave basic federal requirement’s that nursing homes be able to care for its residents and if they couldn’t care for them they needed to go to another facility,” Azzopardi said.



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