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Gov. Cuomo Takes Responsibility For Information ‘Void’ On Nursing Homes

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Fighting for is his political life, Gov. Andrew Cuomo held an emotional press conference Monday claiming there was no cover-up of information regarding nursing home deaths. CBS2's Marcia Kramer reports.

Video Transcript

- Governor Cuomo claims there was no cover-up of information regarding COVID-related nursing home deaths in New York. Instead he's taking responsibility for what he's calling an information "void."

CBS2's political reporter Marcia Kramer has the story tonight.

MARCIA KRAMER: Governor Cuomo fought back calls for his impeachment, removal, or recall with an emotional defense in which he tried to explain to people whose loved ones died in nursing homes that he did nothing to hurt them.

The governor said he prioritized getting information to the federal Department of Justice instead of to the legislature and the public, and that lack of information created the void.

ANDREW CUOMO: The void allowed misinformation and conspiracy. And now people are left with the thought of did my loved one have to die? I want everyone to know everything was done, everything was done, by the best minds in the best interest.

MARCIA KRAMER: The governor was flanked by Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and top aide Melissa DeRosa, two aides who have been criticized by lawmakers for their actions in the nursing home scandal.

ANDREW CUOMO: I take responsibility for creating the void that allowed the information. I just want to make sure people know these are the facts. These are the facts. Everything that could have been done was done.

MARCIA KRAMER: The governor went through a long presentation in which he tried to explain that people in nursing homes were among the most vulnerable to COVID. One of his most emotional comments was his defense of the decisions made by his health commissioner.

ANDREW CUOMO: I would trust Dr. Zucker with my mother's care. That's why I trust him with your mother's care.

MARCIA KRAMER: The governor's critics weren't buying it. Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said the governor, quote, "continues to shift the blame anywhere but upon himself and his top officials."

Baruch College Professor David Birdsell said Cuomo had done well.

DAVID BIRDSELL: He had a very strong performance taking on a very difficult situation, using clear information relatable to the general public and took personal responsibility.

MARCIA KRAMER: I asked the governor if the Attorney General should investigate him and he said there was nothing to investigate.

I'm Marcia Kramer, CBS2 News.