Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his new office, which he took over yesterday, are saying nothing about disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. They have repeatedly declined to comment on reports that Cuomo will not be charged for the deaths of thousands of nursing home patients despite clear indications his administration’s policies were the reason for so many fatalities.
But the DA’s office silence may have less to do with Bragg and more to do with the man he replaced. Reports indicate the decision to let Cuomo off the hook was made by former District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. According to NY Daily News:
The Manhattan district attorney will not bring charges in connection with former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, a lawyer for the embattled ex-gov said Monday.
“I was contacted today by the head of the elder care unit from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, who informed me they have closed its investigation involving the Executive Chamber and nursing homes,” said Elkan Abramowitz, a lawyer for Cuomo.
“I was told that after a thorough investigation – as we have said all along – there was no evidence to suggest that any laws were broken.”
A source familiar with the investigation said the decision to not bring charges was made while former Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. was still in office.
A spokesman for Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, whose first day on the job was Monday, declined to comment. Cuomo declined to comment through a spokesman.
The former governor faced intense scrutiny for a policy early in the pandemic requiring recovering COVID-19 patients be readmitted to nursing homes and long-term care facilities after being discharged from hospitals.
The policy meant that still-infectious people were being sent back into one of the most vulnerable populations in the state.
The stench of corruption is strong as this appears to be a parting gift from one failed politician to another. Lest we forget, Vance has been at the forefront of moves to bring charges against President Trump for such petty alleged crimes, it’s embarrassing to even mention them. Yet Cuomo’s office caused the deaths of thousands of elderly in his state, after which they went to great lengths to cover it all up.
But the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is not the only player in the state looking into the deadly debacle. As loved ones of Cuomo’s victims voice their concerns, at least one state politician is looking towards the Department of Justice and the state Attorney General’s office for action against Cuomo.
According to the NY Post:
Cuomo has faced fierce criticism for a March 25, 2020, directive by his Health Department that ordered nursing homes to admit infected patients being discharged from hospitals, despite the facilities’ vulnerable populations. Independent reports claimed the policy caused more deaths.
And word that Bragg has dropped the case against Cuomo infuriated family members who lost loved ones to COVID-19 while in long-term care facilities.
“Letting Cuomo off the hook is a bad way to start 2022,” said Vivian Zayas, co-founder of Voices For Seniors, whose mother, Ana Martinez, died of COVID while in a nursing rehab facility.
“Fifteen thousand people lost their lives in nursing homes. It doesn’t look like prosecutors are taking this seriously. They’re basically protecting Cuomo.
“We are disappointed in our judicial system.”
And Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) said Cuomo isn’t out of the woods yet.
Kim, chairman of the Assembly Aging Committee, said he considered the ongoing probes by federal prosecutors and AG James more serious threats to Cuomo than the Manhattan DA’s inquiry.
“Cuomo used his executive power to suppress nursing home deaths while chasing a $5.1 million book deal. Sooner or later the truth will come out,” Kim said.
While there is still hope that Cuomo can be brought to justice for his crimes, I’m not holding my breath. This is New York. The chances of a diabolical Democrat getting charged by fellow Democrats are very slim.