House COVID Panel Demands Answers From Former Cuomo Top Aide on Nursing Home Deaths


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House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic are pressing former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aide for more information about the state’s COVID-19 response.

Members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic are pushing one of former Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aides for information about the state’s widely maligned COVID-19 nursing home policies.

Subcommittee chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) announced in a Dec. 11 press release they had requested Melissa DeRosa sit for a transcribed interview and provide documents related to New York’s COVID-19 nursing home order.

The committee seeks testimony and documents related to Ms. DeRosa’s role in the March. 25, 2020, New York Department of Health (NYDOH) order forcing nursing home operators to accept residents who had tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result of this order, it’s claimed by critics more than 15,000 nursing home patients died.
The NYDOH released a 2020 report blaming staff members who tested positive for COVID-19, along with visitors, for infecting the residents at the facilities and causing so many deaths.

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The report received criticism at the time, with one lawmaker saying it contained numerous flaws.

According to the House subcommittee, Ms. DeRosa’s attorney claims she has no documents or expertise to contribute on this matter.

Mr. Wenstrup and Ms. Malliotakis argue this is directly contradicted in Ms. DeRosa’s tell-all book about her experiences during these years as Mr. Cuomo’s aide.

“As you described in your book, you were ‘the most senior member of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s team leading the nation through a once-in-a-century pandemic, making life-or-death decisions, projecting our administration’s competence to an admiring world,” Mr. Wenstrup and Ms. Malliotakis said.

“You publicly discussed and defended the Cuomo Administration’s nursing home Order, arguing that it was consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines.”

 New York Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa speaks during a COVID-19 briefing in New York City on July 6, 2020. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
New York Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa speaks during a COVID-19 briefing in New York City on July 6, 2020. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

In a media statement, Ms. DeRosa’s attorney, Greg Morvillo, disputed the entire premise of the committee’s inquiry, calling it “factually wrong.” He also implied none of the subcommittee members had read the book.

“There is nothing in Ms. DeRosa’s memoir that says this, in fact, the Committee members claim to have read Ms. DeRosa’s book, but anyone who has actually read the book would know that this comment is clearly and factually inaccurate,” Mr. Morvillo said.

According to Mr. Wenstrup and Ms. Malliotakis, they have sent a new letter to Ms. DeRosa, similar to their previous request for documents. They have also invited her to testify under penalty of criminal prosecution.
 Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) in Washington on Aug. 12, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) in Washington on Aug. 12, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Mr. Wenstrup and Ms. Malliotakis say Ms. DeRosa is obligated to provide the inquiry with whatever information they require, and it’s not up to her or an attorney to decide whether she can contribute.

“You owe answers to the thousands of families who lost loved ones in New York nursing homes. Any assertion that you were not involved in issues regarding the order grossly mischaracterizes publicly available information and your own representations,” Mr. Wenstrup and Ms. Malliotakis said.

“In fact, you were in a position to understand the Cuomo Administration’s policy regarding nursing homes from the very beginning.”

 Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) speaks to reporters in Washington on Oct. 12, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) speaks to reporters in Washington on Oct. 12, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

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