Andrew Cuomo Faces House Subpoena Over Covid Deaths in Nursing Homes

Former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has been subpoenaed to appear before a House subcommittee to answer for his administration’s handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic, reigniting a flashpoint that could further damage his chances at a political comeback.

The Republican-led Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic accused Mr. Cuomo of “recklessly” exposing nursing home residents to the virus “with deadly consequence.”

The subcommittee chairman, Representative Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, said in a letter sent Tuesday to Mr. Cuomo that there was “troubling evidence suggesting the Cuomo administration at best downplayed” the effects of its nursing home policies “and at worst covered them up.”

The subpoena is the latest in a multiyear saga surrounding the former governor’s decision to require nursing homes to accept residents who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the spring of 2020. The decision, which presaged a virus outbreak in those facilities leading to thousands of deaths, has drawn broad scrutiny from state and federal investigators.

In January 2021, the New York State attorney general, Letitia James, a Democrat, concluded that the state had “severely” undercounted deaths in nursing homes — charges that were validated when the state later revised its figures upward some 40 percent. But while her office’s report found that returning residents to their facilities “may have put residents at increased risk,” it stopped short of blaming the governor’s policy for nursing home outbreaks, acknowledging that the policy was consistent with federal guidance at the time.

The former governor, also a Democrat, has repeatedly denied that the policy led to additional deaths.

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