New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would not put his 89-year-old mother in a congregate care facility amid the coronavirus pandemic in May — two months after issuing his March 25 directive that barred nursing homes and other long-term care locations from turning away thousands of coronavirus-infected seniors.
"If I were advising a friend, I would say you have a vulnerable person. Best to keep them at home and not put them in a congregate facility. Keep them in a situation where you have the most control," Cuomo told MSNBC in late May.
"That is the blunt truth. That's what I would do with my mother," he continued.
Cuomo is now facing calls for his impeachment from his fellow Democrat, New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim.
"Cuomo abused his powers to hide life and death information from the Department of Justice that prevented lawmakers from legislating – like fully repealing corporate immunity for nursing homes. That is an impeachable offense," Kim wrote on Twitter on Monday.
In January, Cuomo blasted his critics for turning a "tragedy" into a "political football" during a media briefing.
Cuomo said, "Look, whether a person died in a hospital or died in a nursing home, it’s — the people died."
"People died. 'I was in a hospital, I got transferred to a nursing home, and my father died.' 'My father was in a nursing home, got transferred to a hospital, my father died.' People died," he said. "By the way, the same people are dying today. 96% of the people who died are older people with comorbidities which happens to be the population who lives in nursing homes."
"We have a lower percentage of deaths in nursing homes than other states... But who cares? 33 [%]. 28 [%]. Died in a hospital. Died in a nursing home," Cuomo added, according to the Post. "They died, and I dealt with the loss of my father. The pain is so incredible and inexplicable."
Despite Cuomo's efforts to chalk up the drama-filled weeks to partisan politics, as questions swirling around his handling of the pandemic continue, the administration was forced to admit recently that nursing home deaths had topped 15,000 – nearly 10,000 more than was originally reported by the state at the end of January.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has long had a tense relationship with Cuomo, called for a full investigation into coronavirus nursing home deaths on Monday.
"I have not spoken to [Cuomo]. No, I do not accept his explanation," de Blasio said during a press conference. "There needs to be a full investigation ... we need to get the whole truth and make sure nothing like this ever happens ever again."
Fox News' Michael Ruiz and Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.