MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Feb. 15, 2021

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Gottfried Releases Statement on Nursing Home Policies and Data

Richard N. Gottfried (Photo Credit:
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Midtown) released a statement last Friday regarding how we can make our nursing homes safer, during the COVID pandemic and beyond.

His statement came two weeks after a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), which showed that the State has been undercounting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.

“It is important to understand the real numbers of nursing home deaths, to assess New York’s current situation and response, better prevent future tragedies and give closure and peace through truth to the families who lost loved ones,” said Gottfried. “Attorney General James’ recent report shined a bright light on the true nursing home death toll, and it identified concrete steps that must be taken to make our nursing homes safer during COVID and after:

  • increased staffing;
  • laws ensuring that nursing home operators spend their funds on patient care, not profits and administrative waste;
  • better oversight through inspections and higher fines for violations; and
  • preventing the granting of virtually unlimited legal immunity to institutions responsible for caring for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, even during a pandemic. 

“The Assembly Health Committee has and will continue to advance proposals in these areas that I look forward to enacting into law.”

Williams Condemns Cuomo for Concealing Nursing Home Data

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Photo credit:
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) released a statement on Friday following revelations that Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) purposely withheld information about the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.

According to the report from the New York Post, the Cuomo Administration “froze” the death count out of fear that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would use it against them in court.

“The new revelations about both the facts and motivations behind covering up the true toll of the state’s mismanagement of nursing homes amid this pandemic are appalling. In trying to avoid Donald Trump’s wrath, the Governor instead imitated him.

“In the face of the pandemic, Governor Cuomo asked for and received unprecedented powers to make complex decisions, and he has used them to sideline health advisers, subvert oversight, and shield himself from liability for decisions that have cost New Yorkers’ lives. Not only has he skirted accountability, he has avoided even an apology to those who have lost family members as a result of decisions he made. His current rush to reopen amid emerging variants and disparate vaccination distribution- combined with past errors at the onset of the pandemic that made New York the epicenter of the epicenter- further demonstrates the consequences of his unchecked, unrepentant authority.

Nadler Denounces Senate for Acquitting Trump

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Photo Credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) released the following statement after the Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump (R).

Trump, who was on trial for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, received 57 votes to convict – falling short of the minimum threshold of 67.

“For four years, former President Trump spewed rhetoric of hate and menacing division, steadily inflaming tensions and raising the temperature of our national discourse,” said Nadler. “The horrific events of January 6th were the natural result of years of extremist sympathies and subversion of democratic norms. It is not in doubt, nor has it ever been: Trump holds direct responsibility for having incited an insurrection against the U.S. Capitol. The largest ever bipartisan Senate vote to convict is proof of his unforgivable transgressions.

“I am deeply grateful to the remarkable House Impeachment Managers and staff members—led by the peerless Lead Impeachment Manager Rep. Raskin—who prosecuted the case with unflagging brilliance and poise. Fifty-seven Senators—Democrats and Republicans both—voted today with their conscience to convict Trump. The seven Republicans who voted to convict are additional proof of the reprehensibility of Trump’s misconduct—their colleagues must recognize that this trial offered not a test of partisanship but rather one of morality. Forty-three Republican senators, whose lack of courage allowed them to exculpate the man guilty of instigating the attack that placed their own lives in peril, failed that test today.

“Even Majority Leader McConnell conceded that the House Managers proved the case beyond a doubt. It is readily apparent that for the Senators who voted to acquit, no evidence whatsoever would have been enough to convict. The facts are clear and the truth is stark—forty-three Senate Republicans today chose self-interest over our democracy. History will not soon forget their cowardice.”

De Blasio Expands Vaccination Efforts for Seniors

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo credit: Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Last Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced his administration’s three-pronged plan to vaccinate homebound seniors and the essential workers who look after them.

Starting next week, New York will open on-site senior vaccination centers. In anticipation of the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in March, the City will begin a vaccination drive for homebound seniors. And finally, to minimize risk for said seniors, the City will seek to vaccinate at least 25,000 home health aides by the end of next month.

“We are moving heaven and earth to get our senior neighbors vaccinated”, said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, we are bringing vaccines to seniors right in their communities, ensuring our vaccines go to those who need them most.”