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NYC Leaders Call For Federal Civil Rights Investigation Into Gov. Cuomo's Handling Of COVID Pandemic

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Charges of systemic racism in the handling of the COVID pandemic are prompting calls for a federal civil rights investigation, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is again facing criticism; CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer has the story.

Video Transcript

- Uh, Charging, uh, systemic racism in the handling of the COVID pandemic is prompting calls tonight for a federal civil rights investigation, and Governor Cuomo is, once again, facing some stiff criticism. Here's CBS to political reporter Marcia Kramer with the story.

KRAMER: City and state officials have gone to great lengths to showcase efforts to get members of the minority community vaccinations, even though new statistics show the hardest hit neighborhoods have the fewest number of vaccinations. And that's just one of the reasons key elected officials are demanding a federal civil rights investigation about how New York handled the pandemic.

JUMANEE: From infection to injection, I believe the governor has failed at almost all the decisions that were made.

KRAMER: Public advocate Jumanee Williams, joined by members of the city council black Latino and Asian Caucus, in seeking a federal probe on grounds of systematic racism.

ADAMS: We are demanding immediate attention to this situation. We have watched our community members die.

KRAMER: The governor also singled out for withholding information on nursing home deaths. Officials want Cuomo's nursing home decisions investigated.

CUOMO: My administration created the void, and that I feel bad about. Not illegal, not unethical, but just failed people in that moment.

KRAMER: Suffering the need for a vaccine fairness, the governor announced 13 community based vaccine pop up sites, and four new federal sites, like this one here at the National Guard Armory in Yonkers. He also went after one of his most persistent critics Assemblyman Ron Kim, whose uncle died of COVID in a nursing home. The governor attacked Kim's ethics, charging the lawmaker took political donations from nail salons by working on legislation that was supposed to crack down on salon abuses.

CUOMO: I do believe Ron Kim acted unethically, if not illegally. I do believe he has a continuing racket, where he raises money from the owners of the salon.

KRAMER: "The governor can smear me all he wants in an effort to distract us from his fatally incompetent management, but these facts are not going away," Kim responded. Assemblyman Kim has introduced legislation to cancel Governor Cuomo's executive powers. I'm Marcia Kramer, CBS 2 News.