Team Hochul refuses to get to the bottom of Andrew Cuomo’s nursing-home horrors – New York Post

gov hochul mary bassett cuomo nursing home covid deaths
State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett says she wants to “look forward” and that she won’t “try and unravel what happened in the nursing homes under the previous commissioner.” ZUMAPRESS.com; Getty Images

With the evident support of Gov. Kathy Hochul, state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett is refusing to get to the bottom of Team Cuomo’s nursing-home outrages. This is far from the “transparency” Hochul promised, and the Legislature should force her to deliver it.

The first issue is then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s infamous executive order of March 25, 2020, which sent thousands of seniors with COVID into nursing homes and helped the pandemic rage through them. The second is the ensuing coverup of the true COVID death toll in the homes.

Bassett says she wants to “look forward” and that she won’t “try and unravel what happened in the nursing homes under the previous commissioner.” Not figure out why a medically outrageous order went out, or why her department was actively complicit in hiding the deadly result?

Listen to those weasel words: “what happened in the nursing homes.” Bassett couldn’t even bring herself to say it. “What happened” was that some 15,000 older people died while Cuomo was playing hero on TV and getting his flunkies to fudge the numbers that showed otherwise.  

Yes, the state needs to “unravel” this. It cracked down on every aspect of life — schools, businesses, restaurants, gyms — in the name of public health. Except in the case of the group most vulnerable to COVID, the elderly. 

There, Cuomo & Co. simply appeased the politically potent hospital lobby at the expense of public health.  

Bassett’s desire to “look forward” without “trying to unravel” “what happened” is a slap in the faces of all who lost loved ones, as well as those seniors lucky enough to survive despite being needlessly sickened. 

The way to “look forward” is precisely what Republican state Sens. Sue Serino and Jim Tedisco demand in their bill requiring a Health Department investigation into New York’s pandemic policies — with answers on future plans for nursing homes in 90 days.  

Fully and independently investigate Cuomo, his health commissioner Howard Zucker, and the admin factotums who ran the cover-up. And then recommend changes to ensure nothing like this never happens again. 

Because while bad actors are essential in horrors like this, the systems that aid and abet them need fixing — or wholesale reconstruction — too. 

Nursing home deaths make up around 23% of the Empire State’s total COVID toll. Safeguards need to be put in place to keep New York’s health policy as free of power politics as possible.  

The Legislature’s leaders will surely try to quash the Serino-Tedisco bill. It’ll need support from Democrats who actually care about New York’s grieving families to prevent that.

If the state’s leaders manage to keep this swept under the rug, they’ll be accessories after the fact.