Reed Wants Hearings

March 6, 2021

From Congressman Tom Reed:


WASHINGTON, D.C. – With new revelations that political aides to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo deliberately interfered with state public health officials in order to mask the true magnitude of COVID-19 nursing home deaths in the state, Rep. Tom Reed and Republican Congressional leaders urged their House Democrat counterparts to hold a joint hearing regarding the undercounting of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes.

The letter was signed by Rep. Tom Reed, Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-LA), Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX), Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Devin Nunes (R-CA), Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Oversight and Reform Committee Republican Leader James Comer (R-KY).

The revelations appeared in reporting by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times late on March 4, 2020.

“Given this timeline and publicly available information — which seems to confirm that a politically-driven data cover-up occurred — and the oversight authority entrusted to you as Democrat leaders of the relevant committees, it is unclear what more the majority needs to know in order to deploy all the tools at your disposal, including hearings and subpoenas, to determine if Governor Cuomo’s administration deliberately provided false data to the federal government and the public,” said Reed and the Republican leaders.

A copy of the letter can be found here. The text and further background is below.

Key Facts:

March 2020
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued disastrous directives that knowingly sent thousands of COVID-19 positive patients back into nursing homes across the state, spreading the virus and killing thousands of New York’s parents and grandparents.
May 2020
Reed joins letter to HHS asking for an investigation into New York’s nursing home deaths (link here).
Reed hosts a roundtable with New York hospitals and nursing homes to discuss the state’s fatal edicts. Governor Cuomo and New York’s Department of Health are invited but decline to join (link here).
Reed and a group of New York state lawmakers demand Governor Cuomo and the New York Department of Health respond to a series of inquiries regarding nursing home orders over the last three months (link here).
June 2020
Reed discusses Governor Cuomo’s catastrophic directives, invites a local New York hospital administrator to share her on-the-ground perspective regarding the impact of these devastating orders during a Ways and Means hearing (link here).
The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis held a public briefing titled “The Devastating Impact of The Coronavirus Crisis in America’s Nursing Homes.” Republicans requested Chairman Clyburn join an investigation into Governor Cuomo’s lethal directive and he declined.
Select Subcommittee Republicans sent a letter to Governor Cuomo requesting communications and data about his lethal order that violated CDC and CMS nursing home guidance and directed COVID-19 positive patients into the nursing home. Democrats refused to join this effort. Governor Cuomo ignored the request.
Select Subcommittee Republicans sent letters to Democrat New York Attorney General Letitia James requesting an investigation of Governor Cuomo’s lethal directive. Although AG James did not directly respond to Republicans’ request, the pressure from Select Subcommittee Republicans and others resulted in her launching an investigation.
July 2020
According to recent reports, Governor Cuomo’s office rewrote a critical health department report to hide the true nursing home death data from the world.
Select Subcommittee Republicans sent a letter to Governor Cuomo dismantling his sham report, which passed the blame for the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes to the front-line health care workers. Additionally, Republicans requested communications and data about his lethal order. Governor Cuomo ignored this request.
January 2021
The New York State Office of the Attorney General issued a scathing report stating that nursing home deaths had been undercounted by “approximately 50 percent” and that the Governor’s mandates “[m]ay have contributed to increased risk or nursing home resident infection, and subsequent fatalities…” The death toll has now risen to approximately 15,000 souls.
Select Subcommittee Republicans sent a letter to Governor Cuomo highlighting the bombshell report from Democrat NY AG James and again requesting communications and data about his lethal order. Governor Cuomo ignored this request.
February 2021
Governor Cuomo’s top aide then admitted that numbers were not accurately reported out of fear that the accurate numbers would be “used against us by federal prosecutors.”
Reed, members of New York Delegation send a letter to the Department of Justice demanding a federal investigation, subpoenas (link here)
Oversight and Reform Committee Republicans called on Chairwoman Maloney to issue subpoenas for Governor Cuomo’s sworn testimony and for all documents and communications Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Republicans have requested repeatedly from Governor Cuomo related to his order.
Ways and Means Committee Democrats refused a request for a bipartisan hearing on the issue.
Ways and Means Committee Democrats rejected a proposal offered by Rep. Reed to hold governors accountable and get answers for nursing home residents and their families by requiring governors to attest that their states have been reporting accurate nursing home data and that they would continue to report accurate data moving forward.
Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee blocked an amendment for more transparency and accountability in COVID-19 nursing home deaths.