New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is pushing back against criticism of the way he handled COVID-19 related deaths in nursing homes saying “no one has a right to spread lies.”
“Those false statements must be countered. They must be or else people get confused. No one has a right to spread lies or misinformation that causes pain to families,” Cuomo said during his press briefing on Friday.
He added, “I understand politics is a nasty business in this environment. I understand people lie. I get it, I get it, I live it every day, but this is different.”
Cuomo claimed his administration did not “fight back” against misinformation hard enough.
“In retrospect, that is true. It is whack-a-mole. It is that Twitter, 24 hours a day. It is politicians making up stuff to get their face on TV,” he explained.
Cuomo continued, “I get it, but you have to knock it down and counter it and counter it aggressively, otherwise people will believe it.”
Watch part of his briefing below:
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 19, 2021
The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn have launched an investigation into how Cuomo’s administration handled the matter, as IJR reported.
A spokesman for Cuomo, Richard Azzopardi, told the Times Union, “As we publicly said, DOJ (Department of Justice) has been looking into this for months.”
He added, “We have been cooperating with them, and we will continue to.”
A report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James found Cuomo undercounted the number of COVID-19 related deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%, as IJR reported.
Cuomo reportedly threatened Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim over his criticism of how he handled the nursing homes.
He said, “The threats, the belittling, the demand that someone change their statement right that moment…many, many times I’ve heard that and I know a lot of other people in the state have heard that.”
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