Ron Kim, NY Dem threatened by Cuomo, says he won’t support him politically amid nursing home scandal
New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim — who said Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to ruin his career for speaking out against his mishandling of the nursing home crisis during the coronavirus pandemic — says he will not be supporting the governor politically anymore.
Kim, a Democrat who is also the chair of the state’s Standing Committee on Aging, accused Cuomo of “abusing his power” by trying to pressure lawmakers into backing admissions by his top aide that the administration purposely withheld data on nursing home deaths from Justice Department (DOJ) investigators.
Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, made the stunning revelation during a Zoom call with state legislators earlier this month.
“He laid out how he was going to come out to the public and tell everyone how bad of a human being I am. And they would ruin my career. I mean, the way that he presented himself… It left my wife in tears for 2 hours,” Kim said on Fox News’ “CAVUTO Live” on Saturday.
The focus on Cuomo comes as liberal CNN and the governor’s brother, host Chris Cuomo, have given the Democrat’s controversies little to no airtime. Previously, the network gave Chris Cuomo free rein to conduct friendly, comical interviews with the governor, who wrote a book about successfully handling the pandemic in the middle of the pandemic.
Kim said Andrew Cuomo called him and threatened him if he “did not issue a statement that he can use to cover up for his top aide.”
Kim said a menacing Andrew Cuomo asked him, “Who do you think you are?”
“Well, I am the chair of the Committee on Aging in the New York State Assembly. It’s my job to protect older adults. I shouldn’t be threatened for doing my job. And that is exactly what’s happening here,” Kim told host Neil Cavuto.
“I believe his top aide had accidentally told the truth of the cover-up that they purposely hid life and death information from the Department of Justice in fear that the information could be weaponized against them. Now there is a web of lies and excuses why they couldn’t provide information. But sooner or later, the truth will come out. And that’s what’s happening now,” he added.
Kim is one of more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers in New York pushing for Andrew Cuomo to be stripped of the executive powers that were granted to him throughout the pandemic. Others are also calling for Cuomo to resign or be impeached.
Andrew Cuomo has come under fire in recent months and is the center of several investigations, focusing particularly on a directive in March that instructed nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients in an effort to alleviate bed space at hospitals. The order resulted in over a thousand deaths, according to a study by an Albany-based watchdog group.
“I have told the administration, including in the private meeting, there are a number of policies that you got wrong for the last 10 months,” Kim said. “You need to own up to your mistakes, issue a public apology, create a victims compensation fund for the families who lost loved ones, repeal that stupid legal immunity that gave the worst nursing homes a get out of jail free card and a number of different policies that we should be working on to fix what you did. But they’re not interested. They’re not interested in fixing them.”